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On Beauty – It’s okay if you miss it.

April 27, 2011

On Saturday, after a busy day of walking around and shopping for mirrors to make our apartment look more homey when all my family is out for the wedding, I was just about to sit down and just put my feet up. But then I saw how beautiful the light was. So I got my SX-70 and pulled out one of my hoarded packs of 779 film and snapped some photos. This is all just in my backyard. Sometimes beauty isn’t as far away as we think.

I find myself needing to be reminded to slow down and enjoy the beauty of things, but at the same time, to not get upset if I can’t.  Most recently I have been mourning the decline of this years cherry trees here in Vancouver.

Cherry blossoms are something that makes my heart sing in such a unique way. From the very first time I saw those blossoms on the trees, like pink clouds enveloping branches, I fell in love with a fierceness that almost goes against their gentle beauty.  When the cherry blossoms would appear I would spend hours walking around with my eyes watching them say in the wind and laughing as the petals fell around me. Often, when I was walking amongst them, I found that I learned things about life and solved problems from a different perspective. They taught me to appreciate their beauty, as it wouldn’t last, and that truly beautiful things are never forever, so to appreciate everything. They taught me to breathe, slow down, and not rush. They helped me through heart ache and heart-break and where also there for my joy and happiness. Yes, cherry blossoms most certainly have a special place in my heart and each year always seems to be better than the last – except this year.

This year they bloomed late, and most of the time it was pouring rain. Nothing looks sadder than a branches of cherry blossoms drooping under a down pour. On the rare sunny occasion I was at work and so couldn’t spend the time in them that my heart longed for. Before I knew it they were already starting to fade, and every petal on the petal covered ground was a kick to my heart, whispering to me ‘you missed us, we’re gone, you’ve lost.’ Until this spring I never realized how important cherry blossoms had become to my mental well-being. They were what always pulled me out of the winter doldrums. And I’d missed it this year…

At first I was sad, I think I even cried. Frustration from wedding planning, family, PMS, plus lacking in cherry blossoms… some days it was all too much. I looked at other people’s photos of cherry blossoms and pouted at my computer screen. Eventually I remembered that while spring is short, it will come again with new cherry blossoms. This lifted my spirits, giving me something to think ahead to for next year, for the year after and the year after.  With all the wedding planning my mind has been so focused on this one day, forgetting that there is a whole life to take place after that.  As I’m writing this I’m chuckling as I realized that again, the cherry blossoms have taught me something, that while beauty should be appreciated for it is fleeting, it’s also okay to appreciate it only in passing. Life is beautiful in so many ways, it’s hard to notice and appreciate every way with your whole heart, if you did that then you would have no heart left.

So this year I missed cherry blossoms, but I’m planning a wedding, and next year I’ll be walking under the clouds of blossoms as a wife. That is a beautiful thing too.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 27, 2011 1:43 pm

    This is a lovely post Ashley. And a good reminder to be gentle with ourselves and remember that we can’t do everything all the time. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do everything!

  2. April 28, 2011 7:28 am

    What a beautiful post Ashley, thank you. I am struggling with horrible insomnia this week and your post not only made me smile but reminded me that I don’t have to let my tiredness consume me. That I should still find the beauty in life even if it is a little fuzzy! 🙂

  3. Ashley Erin permalink*
    April 28, 2011 2:12 pm

    Andrea – I’m glad you enjoyed this post. Being more gentle with myself and less critical is something I work on and struggle with all the time. It’s nice to share the journey with others.

  4. Ashley Erin permalink*
    April 28, 2011 2:15 pm

    Juli – I’m so happy that I was able to give you a smile! I hope your insomnia goes away soon and you are able to sleep peacefully. 🙂

  5. May 1, 2011 2:33 pm

    It surely will be a beautiful thing Ashley!
    These photographs are absolutely gorgeous!
    Now that the weather is nicer, I cannot wait to get the SX70 out again. I do not have very good luck with the film in the cold of winter.

  6. May 11, 2011 5:56 pm

    These photos are wow! I agree with Andrea that it’s a lovely reminder to be gentle with ourselves.

  7. Ashley Erin permalink*
    May 13, 2011 10:08 am

    Lisa – I don’t mind film in cold weather, but instant film and me don’t work too well during rainy weather, which is basically what winter amounts too in my neck of the words. I hope you have lots of sun and lots of chances to shoot all kinds of film this summer!

  8. Ashley Erin permalink*
    May 13, 2011 10:11 am

    Thank you Alexandria, for the sweet comment! *hugs*

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