Have you ever seen a sakura tree blossom? If you haven’t, it’s a beautiful view, scented subtly by the delicate perfume given off by the sakura flower. This is most famous in Japan, of course, and is a reason for tourists to swarm to Japan just for that season, to catch a glimpse of the trees cloaked in swatches of pink.
But have you heard of the sakura fairy?
It is said that every tree has a fairy, sleeping in the core of the tree, where it is warmest. But every year, the fairy wakes up during winter, while everything is asleep. The land is a blanket of snow, with cold, bitter winds, and nothing stirs, but as the heart of the tree gets colder, the fairy stirs and stretches – and it is now time for the fairy to return the favour of the protection of the tree for the rest of the year.
The fairy warms the tree with her powers, nurturing, blowing over parts of the tree that are cold, keeping it alive. As the winter passes, the fairy continues to watch over the tree to the best of her ability, flitting, agonizing, watching, and waiting. And then when the first hint of spring arrives, the fairy’s most important job awaits.
She conducts all the buds of the trees to their launch pads, and gently coaxes them to wait. Vibrating, waiting, kicking impatiently, the young buds listen to her, but barely. They want to show off their beauty, and yet it’s not yet time. If they appear too early, they will die.
For the truth is, each sakura blossom is a weak one. It’s small, dainty and is fragile. It’s not a strong blossom, and can only live for days. The fairy knows this, but the young blossoms do not, and will not bother. For them, it is important and good enough to know that they should burst out of the tree, to have their moment of glory.
And the fairy knows the biggest secret – that though each blossom is small and weak, though each blossom gives off only a faint scent, it is when the entire symphony bursts forth at the right moment, together, that the tree becomes a vision of beauty, an awesome medley of smell, sight and even sound as the winds gently play with the leaves and the blossoms of the sakura tree. This is why she gently soothes the young buds, and whispers to them.
And so they wait.
Until that one day, where the fairy sniffs the air, and excitedly dances about, readying everything. It’s time. And the buds all know this as they watch her flit from branch to branch, and all eyes are on her and with one last burst of fairy dust and energy, the fairy swings her arms outwards – and all the buds blossom, and push forth, and the tree laughs in joy as the delight of spring enters the world.
And the fairy, exhausted, returns to rest, to await the next winter, where she will awaken again to prepare for this marvelous symphony.
Perhaps that is the way with us too, as we see our little achievements on their own, and note how imperfect and fragile they are. But taken as a whole, it is the blossoming of the tree that matters more than just one little blossom, which would make little difference on its own. Each blossom is small, weak, and imperfect, but taken together, there is nothing short of perfection, joy and wonder. Our actions, small as they may be, sometimes have to wait for the right moment to be taken, and once taken, small as they are, write a perfect note in the perfect symphony that plays in the greater game of Life.
And short lived though we are, perhaps there is a greater purpose, a greater joy, that we live towards, and move towards, as the great Conductor pushes us to blossom, each in our own way.
Anny’s video (Twitter link)