To everyone’s delight, cherry blossoms in Japan are now just blooming!
We went for a walk on Sunday to a park in Tokyo and we were overwhelmed by the number of families and friends that were gathering for the highly anticipated, centuries-old tradition of hanami (cherry blossom-viewing).
But the meaning of cherry blossoms in Japan goes deeper, and makes the country’s national flower a cultural icon well known around the world not just for its breath taking beauty, but for its enduring expression of life, death and renewal.
Tied to the Buddhist themes of mortality, mindfulness and living in the present, Japanese cherry blossoms are a timeless metaphor for human existence. Blooming season is powerful, glorious and intoxicating, but tragically short-lived — a visual reminder that our lives, too, are fleeting.
Although we do not identify ourselves with any religion , we certainly do advocate the reminder!