The power of vulnerability
This past spring, I had the pleasure to rediscover the cherry tree and it's amazing spectacle of blossoms. As we sat immersed under these trees, I was amazed at the amount of people crowding around doing exactly as we were. Sitting, marveling and enjoying the day. Being with loved ones in joy and peace. Hundreds of people experiencing joy all at once ❤.
As you may already know, Hanami is a festival that the Japanese culture have celebrated for thousands of years in honor of the cherry tree. The word itself is literally means flower viewing. People gather under the trees with family and friends to picnic and celebrate the blooms and start of spring. In the evening, lanterns are hung illuminating the blossoms and extending the viewing time. Every last minute is enjoyed and revered. Of course they are celebrating nature, the beauty of the trees and the start of spring, but this festival also celebrates vulnerability.
Cherry trees only bloom for about a week. Folks never know exactly when it will happen, so they are on edge waiting for blooms to open. Waiting on nature. Trying to predict, but never knowing for sure. Then all of a sudden they jump to, and start the celebration. Millions of people, waiting on the edge for the unpredictable.
The trees themselves are also a symbol of the fleeting nature of beauty. At the moment of perfection, the flower falls away only to compost at the base of the tree. Lasting for less than a week. Hundreds of trees put on an amazing display of color and beauty, but only for a moment.
All at the same time you can experience the beauty of the moment, and also grieve its loss. Waiting an entire year before you are able to experience it again. The stillness, the lighting, the cool breeze. So, do you allow sorrow? Or be fully present and experience the joy of the moment? I can't help but saying that any human will do a little of both. We can always try to protect ourselves, and "beat vulnerability to the punch" as Brene Brown says. We are always trying to protect ourselves. But if we are always worrying about what next, we miss out on right now. We miss out in the very moment of joy.