Spotted earlier in the park: Stopped in his tracks by the ephemeral beauty of blossom, a young Japanese guy crouches, captivated. I took this hurried snap on my iPhone (before he stood up and/or spotted me!), so it’s not as beautifully composed as it could be but I’m so happy to have captured his quiet moment of reverence and contemplation.
After I uploaded this photo on my Instagram, a TV cameraman colleague working in Sheffield messaged to tell me that he had just seen three young Japanese students stopping to take a selfie with a blossom tree. That made me smile. I love how important blossom (sakura) is to Japanese culture (I wrote about the hanami festivals in this post about spring last year), how everyone, young and old, embrace this time of year and celebrate the delicate, transient nature of the blossom and the symbolism it has for their own lives.
I came across a lovely quote from the inspirational American writer, Anne Lamott: “I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.”
Paying attention. Being mindful. Living in the moment. So worthwhile and so much easier when there’s a beautiful, blossom-bedecked, tree to stop and gaze upon. Especially when you know it might not be there next week…