My cherry tree should be covered in white blossoms right now. It tried. But when the first blossoms were on the cusp of opening, they all froze overnight. So now my tree looks more brown than white.
I have a stack of finished quilts I was saving to photograph in front of my favorite tree. Today the light was right for just a minute so I went out to do my best. And naturally, in the ten minutes I was out there, it was cloudy, windy, rainy, sunny, rain through sunshine, and about ten seconds of just right.
I took a walk around my tree, noticing all the details. As I did, I thought, “This tree looks like life in 2020”. Beautiful blossoms destroyed overnight, like all our plans were cancelled in a couple of announcements. Where there should be white and beauty and thriving, so much is brown. Usually my tree is literally humming with bees – but today there were none. Like my hopes and dreams for the next few months. Others sleeping, hopefully to wake again.
Here’s what I noticed, though. I didn’t see or hear the bees, but as I walked in circles around the tree I heard birds singing. And as inspected the faded brown blossoms, I also saw a few fresh white ones peeking out in spite of everything. I saw new growth, leaves beginning to form. And way up high there was a branch or two that is mostly white, and as I admired them I also noticed blue sky above them. In spite of clouds, rain, wind, we still had blue sky up above.
At some point, and hopefully soon, we will emerge from this crisis. When we do, I hope we will all be tenderly cradling a new dream or two in spite of everything that dried up. When we do, I hope we will be able to notice the blue sky above and the birds singing in the distance. Even if we miss the industrious buzzing of hundreds of bees, and the glorious show of everything blooming at once as we’d planned, I hope we will have eyes to see the opportunity before us. And the courage to engage and try again no matter what we lost. Just like my cherry tree.