For weeks and months I only had one thing on my minds – cherry blossoms. When will they be ready? When can we go for a walk in the park? When will they tumble down on all of us like beautiful, whimsical bits of magic?
Why do cherry blossoms capture our imaginations and mesmerise us so? Japanese poet Yamabe no Akahito (from the Nara period, AD 710 to 794) explained it thus:
For these few days the hills are bright with cherry-blossom.
Longer, and we should not prize them so. – Springs of Japanese Wisdom
There is a tree outside my classroom window that blossomed long before the other trees. I enjoyed watching the transformation from bare to beautiful:
First, the cherry blossoms started to poke through tentatively, looking up like a shy girl from underneath her hair.
Then, suddenly, the whole world burst into song. Everything was aglow! Flowers, flowers everywhere! As if an artist used giant brush strokes to paint the world white, pink and shades of purple. It was spectacular!
And then, just as suddenly, the cherry blossoms made way for leaves, and their brief sojourn into the world was over.
“Longer, and we should not prize them so …”
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