Here in the Pacific Northwest the primroses are showing a riot of color and daffodils, those happy flowers, are showing a beautiful sunny color. Everywhere nature is waking up. In my garden ferns are uncurling, and new shoots are breaking ground after the winter and it gives me hope for the world.
I never understood why the Japanese loved the plum. I thought Japan was all about sakura, but my Japanese friends were so enamored with plum. That is, until I spent a winter in Japan in an old house with no heat and snow blowing in cracks. One day on my way to school, I saw a branch of plum buds and nearly cried because it was a sign that the winter is coming to an end and the promise of spring is coming.
The plum is also revered for its strength and perseverance because it blooms in the coldest month of the year. And it seems like we have been in the cold, deep freeze for two years. Living with the Covid virus has disrupted the world as it has inundated us in wave after wave.
But we are coming out of it now and beginning to gather again, and savor the warmth of being in the presence of people again. As the masks come off, we can see the smiles on people’s faces again, and we can hear the sound of human voices, relish the touch of others and enjoy some of the things we used to take for granted.
The plum has given way to the peach blossom and promise of sweet fruit in the months to come. And the beautiful sakura coming next, reminds us that nothing lasts forever. That riot of pink and white flowers lasts for such a short time tells us that life has a finite span of time.
Plants don’t care about the affairs of men, not disease, not war, not corruption. They know when it is time to wake up and when it is time to show that it is a glorious world. Each flowers in its own time and each can teach us if we pay attention and learn.
So, like the daffodil, we can be the sun that lifts up others. Like the plum, be strong and persevere, even in the coldest, darkest time. Like the peach, promise the sweet fruit of the future, and like the cherry, enjoy your relationships with others now, because nothing lasts forever.