Lovely piece by Diane Durston for the Washington Post:
The Japanese words “wabi” and “sabi” express the rather complicated feeling we have for this kind of simple beauty; a loveliness that is all the more precious because of the realization that nothing lasts. They describe the quietly moving beauty of a handcrafted bowl that has been handed down in the family for generations—you feel the touch of the hands of everyone who has cared for it over time. It may no longer be a perfect bowl, and you understand that, like the cherry blossoms, it won’t last forever, but that is what makes it all the more exquisite. As Leonard Cohen said, “Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.”
The cherry blossoms are a yearly event near and dear to my heart. My hometown, Plasencia, is located right in the heart of Jerte Valley, one of the world’s leading cherry producing regions.
Every year around April, when the cherry trees blossom in a spectacular coordinated display that paints the entire valley white, thousands upon thousands of tourists gather to witness this magical sight.
For a few precious days — the full bloom rarely lasts more than three days — we are reminded of how beautiful our planet can be, and how fleeting beautiful things are.
Photo credit: “A Flood of Cherry Blossoms”, by Miquel González Page.