Recently, I was contacted by Sanja Željeznjak (pictured below) from Croatia who told me how much she enjoyed reading my Cherry Blossom Stories Blog. Naturally, I was very grateful for her kind words and her encouragement.
In her message, Sanja asked me to take a look at her blog and I’m very pleased that I did. As you all know, I’m a big fan of the cherry blossoms in Japan so I was particularly moved by her blog post called Sakura. I asked Sanja if I could share this piece of writing with my readers and she replied she would be very happy to do this.
Please take the time to read Sanja’s blog piece titled Sakura below. Whether you’ve been to Japan or not, you’ll be touched by the eloquence of Sanja’s words and her understanding of the cherry blossoms and what they represent to the Japanese people. Sanja’s writing is very poetic and uplifting. I believe this blog post acts as a reminder for us all to to appreciate nature and the people in our lives and to forget the materialistic trappings which sometimes seem more important. We should treasure those people who are close to us and we should support them and hold them dear because just like the cherry blossoms which come and go so quickly, we are here on this earth for just a brief moment in time.
SANJA’S BLOG POST ‘SAKURA’
Each year in early spring, around mid-March and up until mid-April, Japan is almost overnight transformed into the Land of the Cherry Blossom. Countless parks, promenades and boulevards are bundled up in the sheer whiteness of sakura. During that time, the whole country follows with excitement the cherry blossom forecasts all over Japan from the deep south to the upper north. No matter what, almost everyone will try to find at least one spare moment for hanami, or cherry blossom viewing.
Can a foreigner understand the feeling of profound happiness that permeates a Japanese person sitting on a bench alone or with his friends while gazing at a blooming cherry tree?
Sakura (桜, Japanese: cherry blossoms) warms the soul of every inhabitant who has an eye for its momentary beauty. It’s well known that the lifetime of a cherry blossom is dramatically short, only about one week. As soon as the delicate pink and white blossoms open up on the still, bare branches, a gust of spring wind blows past and shakes the petals. It won’t be long before the petals, fragile as they are, fly off in their first and final flight to the ground, greeted by the most beautiful, cold embrace of death: expressed with the upmost beauty and dignity.
As beauty is so short and transient, she is dear to the human eye. The cheerful soul of the beholder relishes the view of the petals swaying in the air and falling down to the ground, silently like pink rain. We stop for an instant, fascinated by that magical moment of the perfect Japanese spring which has been immortalised in countless movies and in numerous photographs.
We look at the sakura, afraid to say out loud how we instinctively feel and what saddens us deeply: that our life itself is like a cherry blossom. At any moment in our brief lives, we could be mowed down by something insignificant, such as a gust of wind. So let us enjoy every single day while we are still here.
Happiness is in grief, in the dramatic anticipation of the end that must come. The majestic life of the Queen Sakura ends up under the feet of the casual passers-by, who themselves are mere random strollers in this corner of the universe.
Thank you Sanja for allowing me to share your blog post Sakura. I really appreciate it and I’m sure my readers will agree, you’ve really captured the spirit and significance of the cherry blossoms in Japan. Visit Sanja’s blog called Japanese Bugs.