Photo courtesy of Jason Markowski Saki midasu momo no naka yori hatsu-zakura - Basho

From among the peach-trees "Blooming everywhere," The first cherry blossoms. - Basho

As winter begins to fade the faces of spring begin to peak out.  In a Japan, the blooming of the sakura or cherry blossom is the signal that winter is over and the circle of life begins again.

As a symbol, the sakura is the ultimate representation of the samurai.  It is said that when the sakura flower falls it is reminiscent of a falling head and therefore a reminder that life is tenuous.  The sakura bloom is relatively short and thus reminds us that we are born, we live and we die and that we should not waste our lives.

IMG_1670I like the sakura because it is a flower that has beauty, strength and balance.  The sakura flower is quite stunning and they have a certain magic to them when they all bloom together.  The sakura must be a strong flower because it survives the winter and bursts into bloom even as when the winter frost still has its clutches on Japan.  The five petals looks like a human being, but they have a certain balance to them that is reminiscent of someone who has great strength and also great humility.