The first house I remember living in had an ornamental cherry tree in the back garden. It was a prolific blossomer: brash and unashamedly pink. And it came out for my birthday! It was my tree. I mourned it when it had to be cut down – I’m not sure I’ve ever quite recovered.
I love blossom. It comes at my favourite time of year, when the world is full of potential. I love fruit blossom, obviously, but I also love the purely ornamental. There’s nothing nicer than walking round well-established residential areas in the early spring – places where the planting is purely for pleasure. Mock cherry, winter flowering jasmine, magnolias. Glorious.
And I love hedgerow blossom – the pale blackthorn giving way to rich and creamy hawthorn. Elderflower florets. An extravagant spilling of white.
My son and I talk about visiting Japan. Realistically, it’s unlikely I will ever visit Japan, but we can still talk about it. I have a fondness for Japanese art – a superficial westernised understanding of haiku and woodprints and ikebana. The knowledge that the space between things is as important as the things themselves. We like sushi and noodles and ramen. And it’s such a very different culture – I’d love to get a taste of it. I admire that love of transient beauty – it’s something I try to cultivate in myself. I am prone to clutter, to clinging onto things. Blossom season reminds me that everything changes, that things are here and gone – swift, fleeting delights. Impermanence is the rule, not the exception. Everything changes, and accepting that is so important.
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