This weekend the cherry blossoms took full bloom. It’s always an exciting time when for just two weeks each year, these magical trees can be appreciated. The park was crowded with people taking photos and admiring their beauty.
There’s a great lesson to be found in the ephemeral nature of cherry blossoms. Since we know they will one day be gone, we’re able to easily appreciate every millisecond they’re in bloom. It reminds me of the Japanese term mono no aware, which loosely means a sensitivity to ephemera, the bittersweet feeling of seeing things change. Mono no aware is a wistful, reverent awareness of the transitory nature of existence.
According to this idea, cherry blossoms are not beautiful despite only blossoming for two weeks once a year. They are beautiful because they only blossom for two weeks once a year. Because of their ephemeral nature, we can’t help but view them with awe and appreciation.
Walking around the park, I was reminded that if we viewed everything in the same way we view the cherry blossoms, recognizing that each moment we have is precious and fleeting (because it is!), we’d experience so much more appreciation in our lives. This is a difficult feat of course, to regard the ordinary as magical and precious. But if we look deeply enough, there’s usually magic to be found.
There is great wisdom in the understanding that everything is ever-changing. Everything is here one day and then it’s gone. Poof! Nothing is permanent. And this isn’t just true of human lives, it is a reality that pervades every corner of the universe. Today, the tallest tree in the woods; tomorrow, a log of carbon laying on the forest floor. Today, a massive, glowing star; tomorrow, a disparate cloud of cooling elements.
There’s much to be gained by accepting impermanence, rolling with it, even seeing the beauty in it. For it’s only because life ends that our years on this Earth are so precious, only because of the harsh winds of winter that we drink up every sundrenched moment of summer.
By viewing the beauty and preciousness of impermanence we open to reality and experience deeper appreciation in our lives.
So today, I invite you to look around and find appreciation in the beauty of all that is impermanent. Which of course, includes absolutely everything.
Get Tamara’s beautiful children’s book, Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands.