Monday, March 21st, 2011...12:00 am

The Cherry Blossom Tree and the Situation in Japan

Untitled by wakingphotolife

This is the time when the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan usually begins.  See here. The Japanese word for cherry blossom is Sakura. This ornamental tree is known in Latin as Prunus serrulata.

During the Cherry Blossom Festival, there is the beauty of the experience of seeing all the trees in bloom at the same time. But the flowers last only a brief time before the petals fall delicately to the ground. Watching the petals fall so quickly, the Japanese ponder the nature of life. To the Japanese, these falling petals are a metaphor for the ephemeral or fleeting nature of life.

The most recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan shows how ephemeral life really is.

Akita was one of the sites for seeing the cherry blossoms en mass.  See here.  Sendai had a park that had 480 trees. Akita and Sendai are just two of the cities that had major destruction or were destroyed. And with this destruction went the cherry trees with their delightful blossoms along with so many lost lives.

It is difficult to watch the daily news without wishing there were more one could do to help the Japanese. I cannot fathom what they are going through: the anguish at the loss of loved ones as well as all their earthly possessions; the fear of the nuclear plants failing; the suffering from hunger, thirst and cold with shortages of medicines. I wish I could do more than write this column. Here is the link for places to donate for relief that I used.


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