The harsh winter last year brought sadness and tragedy to Japan.  The earthquake, subsequent tsunami and nuclear devastation left 20,000 dead and many more were never found.  The Annual Cherry Blossom Festival is a huge deal in Japan but this year, I would imagine,  it holds so much more significance.

“To smell the sweet cherry blossom you must first suffer a harsh winter”

It’s a quote I have blogged about before and resonates with me at this time of year as we remember one year on.

Thousands of Japanese will descend onto beautiful gardens as the buds of the cherry blossom trees gracefully burst into bloom in an array of icy whites, pinks and purples.  The trees take on a life and character of their own as they bow and lean elegantly over bridges, winding rivers and statues. The trees symbolise so much more than beauty.  Solemn, stoic branches which hold delicate petal gems will bring hope and a chance to renew for all Japanese.

With so many disasters happening around the world sometimes it seems hard to catch up and take the time to remember tragedies that have happened a year or more ago and how those people are still living with their struggles after we have clicked out of an article or turned the page of the newspapers to get on with our days.

May you all smell the sweet cherry blossom this year.