Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cherry Blossom necklaces to benefit Japan

Every year I wait for the time, when nature takes over the cherry trees and the sad brown branches are blanketed with beautiful white and pink flowers, transforming branches to plush gardens and city streets to fairytale landscapes. The Cherry Blossom, known as "Sakura" is a cultural icon in Japan. 
I bought a cherry flower ribbon last year thinking, I would make a necklace out of it without knowing, that I would be making a donation to support the natural disaster struck Japan.

Only after donating, I read the symbolism of the Cherry Blossom and I got the chills reading ... 

Symbol of Transience 
Although Cherry Blossoms can put up such a spectacular show, their existence is brief. This is the main reason why the Japanese people invests time and effort to vigilantly track down Cherry Blossoms so as not to miss a second of its passing time on earth. Cherry Blossoms therefore, are a reminder of our humanity - our mortality. Buddhism’s concept of “mono no aware” teaches the same thing. Like Cherry Blossoms’ cycle of exceptional beauty followed by a quick death, a human being’s life can be given and taken at any moment. During World War 2, Japanese pilots on suicide missions (Kamikazes) painted the figure of the Cherry Blossom on their planes, while some brought branches of these flowers to accompany them in death. Human life is not everlasting. Humanity’s evanescence, epitomized by Cherry Blossoms, reminds us that life is too short to squander awayWe have to relish every breathing moment we have left and live life to the fullest.

Symbol of Hope 
As the Cherry Blossom season coincides with both the fiscal and calendar years in Japan, it marks the arrival of new beginnings – students start their first day of school and new employees start their first day of work. The intense and vibrant blossoming of Cherry Blossoms bestows us with the license to hope and dream of greater things. It likewise gives us the sanction to forget past disappointments and failures and to look ahead with optimism and enthusiasm.

The necklaces were donated to a sale for Japan event.  (I am not sure yet if they sold, but I am hoping they did.) 

I will never look at another Cherry Blossom the same way again ...


Elvi (a Cherry Blossom tracker)

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