There's almost nothing lovelier than the sight of spring cherry blossoms. The pink, delicate cascades just seem to bring joy everywhere they appear. In Japan, they have special picnics and festivals held under cherry trees called 'Hanami', which translates as 'flower viewing'. These traditional celebrations give the chance to fully appreciate the beauty of the blossoms. The fact that the Japanese have this word devoted to the experience, shows just how important cherry blossom time is for them.
I've also recently come across the Japanese saying; 'Mono no aware'. One translation of this is the 'ahh-ness of things, love and life'. The awareness of the impermanence of things heightens the beauty of them. There is a gentle sadness at it's passing, knowing that without this impermanence the beauty would never have existed. With it's short lived bloom time, the ephemeral cherry blossom has become a poignant symbol of this awareness.
So next time you see a cherry tree in blossom, stop and be grateful for a moment longer than usual, the next time you walk by the petals may have all blown away!
Here's a simple paper craft to create your own cherry blossom...
You will need:
2 different tones of pink tissue paper
A small bare branch
A glue stick
Cut circles from two or three different colours of tissue paper.
Layer up two or three circles together and then fold the pile in half.
Place the semi circles behind an area on the branch and then add glue. Twist and pinch the tissue paper together around the branch, so that the glued area wraps around and sticks together. Use smaller circles at the ends of the branches, to look like unopened blossom buds.