I love cherry blossoms.
Before we moved here, I had no idea that cherry blossoms were a “thing” in Seattle. I mostly associated them with the NJ/PA/DC area. Imagine my surprise when they began blooming along our neighborhood streets over the course of these last few weeks. Then, imagine my excitement when I learned that the University of Washington’s campus is covered in them.
There is so much that I appreciate about cherry blossoms: their beauty, the history and culture behind them, etc.
Yet, I believe it’s the timing of their bloom that makes them most special. For many, cherry blossoms are the symbol of spring. The icons of rebirth and regrowth. It doesn’t matter how harsh the winter felt or how long it lasted — the cherry blossoms will eventually bloom and signal the beginning of the new season. They also reflect new beginnings. The chance to start over. The promise of what lies ahead.
After some coaxing from me (and some initial teasing from Joey), we set aside Sunday afternoon to check them out. The weather was supposed to be beautiful, and it was — meaning everyone in the Greater Seattle area would be taking full advantage. It was packed, but we had a fantastic time wandering around the Quad and staring at the gorgeous sea of white and pink blossoms. It was nice to take a moment to remember that spring is around the corner.
It was also a timely reflection for me, as I’ve spent the last week incredibly focused on trying not to let my thoughts wander back to “winter.” It’s not a practical use of my time. It’s also not healthy for me; yet, winter proves difficult to escape. The cold air seeps back in, sometimes with little or no notice, and I find myself once again snowed in by these feelings I have. Feelings of sadness, disappointment, anger, frustration, resentment, betrayal.
What I can’t do is go back and change these things. I can’t go back and force events to happen differently so that I don’t feel this way. I can’t force others to understand or see things from my point of view. There’s no use shouting at a brick wall. Even if I thought that the brick wall should understand. Even if I expected the brick wall to be better. To do more.
It’s in these moments when I need to take a step back and think about the cherry blossoms.
I need to remember that regardless of how harsh and cold things can feel, there is always light around the corner. There is always an opportunity to start anew and refresh your perspective. I need to take a moment and realize that I can’t change the past. And remind myself that, maybe, the best is still yet to come.