The longing for snowdrops as the first sign of spring is hard-wired in my soul. Whatever the winter, the little white bells have a purity and tenderness that glows with nature’s resilience. After such a challenging winter – so relentlessly wet and grey – this year my heart sang when their flowers began to peak through the muddy grass.
This year, however, as we stumble into and through this pandemic, the need for some quality of resilience persists. Whatever our circumstances, moments of purity and tenderness are truly precious right now. Where nature’s beauty offers the reassurance of life renewing itself in the certainty of spring’s return, it is profoundly appreciated. At Sun Rising, with the golden daffodils shimmering in the sunshine, yesterday the first of the wild cherries came into blossom.
The tree photographed here is a memorial tree, planted on a grave in memory of an individual laid to rest here, a person no doubt much loved and missed. The tree is just a sapling, five or six years old, barely six foot tall, with the elegant slenderness of a tree not yet filled out into branches. Nonetheless, the blossom seemed to me to speak with such a gentle strength: the quiet voice of a wise grandmother, someone who’s lived a long life through many crises, and come through again and again into springtime, into peace, with the love of family and friends.
Perhaps it is daft of me to feel our loved ones in the trees planted in their memory, but I can’t help doing so! These brilliantly white flowers, the pollen-laden anthers inviting in the first of the bees, the reddish tinge to the unfurling leaves, are worth sharing. As cherry trees flower around the northern hemisphere, in the cemeteries of Japan, the parks of Canada, the gardens of Germany, everywhere, their strength and serenity is celebrated. Feel free to share the beauty with others, especially those who this year can’t get out to see it.