I Miss the Cherry Blossoms. So I Paint them!
A hopeful reminder that your passions are not selfish — they are your freedom!
The Cherry (or ‘Sakura’ in Japanese) traditionally marks the official end of winter. Its sweet scent wafting in the breeze reminds us of the fortunes to come over the summer.
But it also reminds us that these fortunes and life itself are short and fleeting. Its bright pink blossom only lives two short weeks, before fading to white and falling on mass like dominoes cascading to the ground.
It’s a long time until we see any fruits from the labours of the cherry tree. Taking between four and seven years to mature, before fruiting in abundance. Their fruits are not harvestable until June at the earliest. But still they struggle against the atrocities of Mother Nature and humanity itself — Swelling a scented tidal wave of petals year upon year!
Where I lived before, in a house, I was surrounded by these trees. I was delighted at this time of year to put on my running shoes early in the morning and catch the first flurry of their falling petals as they swooped around me. And in June, having to dodge the bullets of their cherries as they rained down on me and splattered on the pavement.
Although life was not so good for me at that time, they gave me hope for a better future.
But then I was reminded of their other significance.
My dad too loved the cherry blossom. He was in the forestry business, and used their timbers to create the most beautiful bowls with his lathe. An artistic passion he took up far too late. He would not pick the most prestigious, perfectly grown trees for his work, as he loved the way the gnarly cherry tree left rustic knots, holes and bark in his bowls. An artistic preference I also admired.
But his work and life were short lived. As I celebrated his birthday with him, we watched the breeze carry away the Sakura blossom from the trees he had lovingly planted in the garden. And as their sweet scent wafted past us; he surprisingly declared “my work is done — time for you to bloom!”