Blossoms in Pink | #ThursdayTreeLove

Welcome one and all to the very first #ThursdayTreeLove post of 2021! What a year to have left behind and what an awful lot of learning and appreciation for what we are blessed to have, despite the losses and the pain that came to be a part of our collective lives. We have gained a new-found understanding of what Nature means to us, ever since the pandemic happened. For those of us who are tree lovers, we know that our trees are our haven of peace and our bliss. They continue to be our friends through the rough rides and continue to teach us those much-needed life lessons every now and then.

Has childhood ever been complete without climbing trees, or picking apples, or even pretending to be monkeys swinging on low hanging branches? We’ve spent many an unhappy moment under the shade of our favourite tree. All that even before tree-hugging became a phenomenon to reckon with! Trees are a part of our lives, whether we consciously acknowledge that or not.

As we start another series of #ThursdayTreeLove posts this new year, I’m taking out a leaf from my travel diary. The pictures I’m sharing are from one of my favourite places in the world—Nara, in Japan!

It was exactly a year before the spring of 2020 that changed our lives on a beautiful April day when we found ourselves enjoying a beautiful walk on the precincts of the famous Todaiji Temple in Nara. It was a certain sense of timelessness from that day, that I now find in these beautiful pictures, as I sit miles away, poring over little nuggets of precious memories.

“Light as feathers, as fleeting as Zephyr, one moment they breathed pink, the next they faded. Cherry blossoms were as much an inspiration for beautiful verse as they were a reminder of life’s fickleness, she thought.”     

—Alice Poon

 

 

Cherry Blossoms at Nara, Japan. April 2019.

Legend has it, that when the spring arrives every year in Japan, the fairy Ko-no-Hana-Sakuya-Hime—the “maiden who causes trees to bloom,” hovers low in the spring sky, to awaken the sleeping trees with her delicate breath. The ravishing blooms hang delicately, from the branches, heralding the time to enjoy the short-lived beauty of life, as symbolised by the Cherry blossom that only lasts for a week or two. The essence of fragility and the temporal nature of our lives is beautifully evoked in these celebrations. Hanami, the centuries-old practice of drinking under a blooming Sakura tree has now become a national ritual in Japan.

Sharing above, three favourite captures from my visit to Nara in the spring of 2019. Today, two years later, the trip to Japan feels like a dream. So grateful to the Universe that we were witness to this amazing ritual, at a time when the world was a totally different place.

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Thursday Tree love is a photo feature hosted on Parul’s blog on every 2nd and 4th Thursday of a month. The next edition will go live on January 28, 2021. If you would like to play along, post a picture of a tree on your blog, and link it back to Parul’s post.

16 thoughts

  1. Absolutely beautiful! These blossoming trees can take our breath away. I remember, in the movie ‘The Last Samurai’, Katsumoto refers to a perfect blossom of the Cherry tree.

    1. Thanks so much, Archana. So glad you liked the tree pics. And thanks for sharing the trivia about the cherry trees from the film. Not seen, but hopefully, someday, will. 🙂

  2. Loved this post. Like you, my childhood had many trees. I used to love sitting on a high branch of a guava tree and there was this huge Mango tree under which I fell asleep many times. Yes, what would be childhood without those trees. Thank you Esha for sharing your memories and these gorgeous Cherry Blossoms.
    Loved that you joined for the first edition of 2021. I hope to see you back on the 28th!

    1. Thanks so much for hosting the #TTL every fortnight, Parul. I was looking forward to sharing my pics but not getting round to writing the post. Your reminder on Twitter came in handy, so all thanks to you actually!!
      Am joining in with my next today, in a bit.

      Always a pleasure to join the #treelove fraternity. 🙂

  3. Oh I love the story about the fairy- its so beautiful and charming. Love the photography Esha- cherry blossoms look just divine on a tree. I had an opportunity to see one in full bloom in Uttarakhand some year ago- its not the true cherry tree but the Wild Himalayan one that is a distant cousin.

    1. Thanks so much, Shalz! So glad you enjoyed the story. I know the variety you’re mentioning. We used to have the very same variety in Kohima, lining up the roads and they used to bloom every spring around March/April. You just refreshed my childhood memories.

  4. I love that delicate pink colour. That story about the fairy is so quaint. You’re fortunate to have gotten a glimpse of these gorgeous flowers.

    1. Isn’t it lovely, Tulika? Happens to be my favourite shade of pink too! It’s a popular lore and one comes across so many of them in Japan. Yes, we were fortunate to have been there during the Sakura season.

  5. Your post indeed did invoke childhood memories… of days probably I shall never get back. I havent really climbed trees much, but still remember a not so big tree outside my childhood home in bangalore that would bear these yellow flowers. I really dont remember the name, but can still feel the tree swaying and the flowers falling down on the ground in the gentle spring breeze. Best sight and time of my life.

    1. That’s the elusive magic of childhood, Ramya! As we grow older, they feel so special, don’t they? I think you’re talking of the pretty Tabebuia blooms that adorn our roads in Bangalore with the onset of summer. They come in two colours, yellow and pink and look absolutely breathtaking as they line up the roads. And you’re spot on about how when the breeze blows, they form a bright yellow carpet on the ground.

    1. Thanks so much, Shinjini. You absolutely must plan a trip in early April, Shinjini—best time to enjoy the Sakura season and to see the three different shades of the Cherry blossoms.
      P.S. The pandemic will not last forever, is what I always remind myself. 🙂

  6. These are beautiful photos. I love Cherry blossoms and was able to admire their beauty only when I saw them in Sydney. I also admire its cultural significance and what it symbolises. So meaningful and beautiful.

    1. Thanks so much, Rajlakshmi. It’s stunning to see them in full bloom, and like life, extremely delicate and fragile. Hard to hold onto, like life itself.

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