Cherry Blossoms

The Beauty of Cherry Blossoms

 

Nothing depicts the extreme beauty of spring like the cherry blossom.  Whenever winter starts getting me down, I think about walking through the cherry-tree path at Brooklyn Botanic Garden during Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival). The cherry petals fall like a tropical shower: impatient, rigorous and intense.  It’s amazing how hard and constant these petals fall, but even when the entire path is covered by layers of cherry blossoms, the cherry trees remain full of flowers and life.  With petals in my hair, on my face, between my fingers, I am literally immersed in the height of spring, surrounded by color and beauty, smiling without realizing it, living for the very moment.  That’s how the arrival of spring screams: loud yet soft, colorful yet peaceful, forceful yet gentle.  It’s the quietest shout.

The Symbolism of Cherry Blossoms

SONY DSCCherry blossoms evoke our deep-seated emotions.  To Buddhists, the blossoms represent the transit of life.  For the Sumarai Warrior, they symbolize the samurai’s blood drops and his ability to face death without fear.  The geishas saw their short-lived beauty and youth in the cherry blossom.  To the powerful, the quick fall of flowers represents how fleeting power actually is.  To the young, the flowers represent birth and youth.  Cherry blossoms highlight the cycle of life and reflect where you are in your journey.

The Cherry Blossom Festival at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

 

We can ponder, question and become touched, sometimes sadly, by the inevitable falling flowers.  But we can also marvel, savor, relish and immerse ourselves in the cherry trees’ full bloom.  This is why viewing the cherry blossoms has become a tradition for Japanese—families and friends gather under the cherry trees, take a walk, have a picnic and drink sake.   If you live in New York City, go to the Sakura Matsuri on April 27 or 28.   Experience the full bloom of cherry trees and the beauty of Japanese art and culture.

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