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In the cherry blossom’s shade there’s no such thing as a stranger.

-Kobayashi Issa

Spring is filled with renewal, with hope, with new beginnings.  Spring in Seattle is also filled with rain.     I walked outside today in the rain underneath the blossoming cherry trees at the University of Washington.  The rain was persistent and refreshing.  It cleansed the air and filled my lungs with a burst of green scents and energy.  Below me were two rows of 15-20 bright pink cherry trees spread out like a military line up.  The staccato taps of the rain on the blossoms keep me in rhythm as I gazed across the momentous scene. 

All my mind could think about was searching for the perfect cherry blossom.  This thought was brought on by the movie The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise, where the samurai character Katsumoto played by Ken Watanabe was continually looking for the PERFECT cherry blossom. 

Slowly, in wonder I searched across the branches and inside the crevices of the bark for the one blossom that what stop me in my tracks.  However, as I kept looking for the perfect cherry blossom all I could see was the grace of God in each petal and in all living creatures that appeared.  My breath stopped and I was the tree. I stood shining for a moment in this lifetime until I would shed my tears of impermanence to the ground below.  At this moment there was no distinction between tree, me and breath.  Just the wind.

Searching for the perfect cherry blossom is a context for life.  When one is in a state of wonder, a state of curiosity for the world looking at life with beauty and grace then the world appears to them as beauty and grace.  The context of LOOKING for the perfect cherry blossom puts one in a state of mind where one is always looking for what is beautiful, what is kind, what is loving…  Even as the bus roars by, children scream, or the rain turns from drizzle to downpour one is in a state of wonder and excitement for life.  Life is seen from the glass is half full context.  From this context life is beautiful even in the most trying moments. 

This is the perfect cherry blossom.  Find this context in your life.

Call to Action:

        • Be in Wonder of life at every moment.  Look at life from the context of looking for the perfect cherry blossom.
        • Find what your cherry blossom is, the thing that puts you at peace, in wonder and curiosity for the world.  Be in this space at every moment of every day.

Be well….Be LOVE

Thomas D. Craig

Author A Cup of Buddha

Writer. Seeker. Adventurer. Warrior