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.”
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.
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.