I have been told that, in Japan, cherry blossom symbolizes birth and death, the briefness of life– and new beginnings.
These pictures were from April 2018, the annual cherry blossom viewing （花見、はなみ、 hanami）tradition I have (had?) with my high-schoolfriend around every April 1. Every year, for years, we would meet up, sit beneath the cherry blossom, eat strawberries or inari sushi, and talk about our lives and hopes and dreams. Sometimes traditions change, but that doesn’t mean the memory is lost, or no longer important. To me, cherry blossom is one of those reminders of how fleeting yet beautiful life is, and how cruel too. Though it not just cherry blossom, seeing those delicate petals helps me with slowing down and evaluating my priorities.
One of my favourite neighbourhoods I lived in, the Bezuidenhout area of The Hague, was full of different blossoming trees from March to May. I know it’s only February and I am actually really trying to be ‘in the present’ and enjoy winter for what it is, but I’m yearning for spring. Let’s hope there will be many beautiful blossoms for us to spot this year, and let’s hope we can enjoy them — for however long they’ll be around.