Inspiration and Cherry Blossoms Have No Timetable

Inspiration and Cherry Blossoms Have No Timetable and neither does Mother Nature.

Last week I dashed over to see the cherry blossoms at dusk. I’d already photographed them earlier on blue sky day The park is only 5 minutes from my house and something told me to go. I knew I wouldn’t have time to go again until the weekend. They’d be at their peak but mother nature had other plans.


Severe weather blew in and the worst thunderstorm in the 15 years I’ve lived in this house shook the house to its foundation. The cats freaked out and ran downstairs. I was still up working at 3 am on the third floor and a deafening thunder clap made me jump out of bed.

Winds howled, lightening licked the windows and curious, I peeked out the all the windows on the second floor to see what direction the storm was heading when another rumble and loud crack felt inches away. My husband yells, “Step away from the window!” I do and for a moment feel fear. Real fear. The fear of danger people in war-torn countries know only too well.

The rain turned to snow and by morning a trace remained. The worst was over but  pall hung and the last thing I wanted to do was see the cherry blossoms. They couldn’t possibly be at the peak and I expected botanical disaster.


I didn’t have the heart to visit until days later, fully expecting blossomless branches but it was worse. The blossoms froze on the branches and browned without falling. A first in my memory and the result none too pretty. That weekend our large population of Japanese residents in Hartsdale planned their annual visit to celebrate hanami. The tradition of visiting, having picnics near cherry blossoms is hundreds of years old. It’s a celebration to usher in spring and I don’t know what inclement weather means. It’s a tradition that celebrates the ephemeral nature of life. When storms ruin the blossoms is it bad luck or just what is.


The moral of the story: expect the unexpected and go while the going is good. By going on that not so convenient day, it bore all the more precious fruit.


The ruined blossoms will likely delay the unfurling of green leaves but they will turn green, eventually. For now, there is nothing to do but wait for Mother Nature’s calendar.