In Washington D.C where I live we love our cherry blossoms. And not just the famous circle of trees around the tidal basin, remarkable gift from Japan heralding forgiveness and cooperation between former enemies. We have planted cherry blossom trees everywhere. Some neighborhoods have bordered their sidewalks with them. Each spring, everybody with a yard lusts after their neighbor’s gorgeous tree and wants to plant one in their little parcel of soil, too. As many have done.
But to love cherry blossoms- their clouds of rich true pink ageing to subtly-tinted white around your head and loose petals drifting in the breeze, is to make yourself open to heartache. This winter had one last blast. It took out about half of the flower buds. Now, the remaining flower buds are opening above us on their black branches, against our gray spring skies.
They are so beautiful. I might prefer this pared-down bloom. When you have less, you see it better. You can see the outlines of clusters and individual flowers. You can see the interiors with pistils and stamens and maybe a bee. You can see the dark gnarled twists supporting the branches of the oldest trees.
I don’t think I’m just a Pollyanna, declaring the good in any misfortune. In other areas of my life I am also appreciating having a little less plenty- having a little space around. This means de-cluttering, simplifying clothes choices, and being able to walk all the way into the garage and know what is there. It means less food going bad in the corners of the fridge and fewer commitments so I can pick up and travel. It means giving up the American way of buying something and then finding that you already have one. It means curating what you choose to own. It means experiencing more versus acquiring more.
I value being able to see better, and to move more freely. Life is even more beautiful.