It’s not easy to be left wondering why. Racking your mind to find the reason something fell apart. Like a magnificent civilisation that crumbled into pieces and all that is left behind is the ruins we visit, as a sign of our glorious past.
We don’t seem to learn from history. And we keep repeating the same mistakes.
Because we somehow believe that this time things will be different. That we deserve better and we hope we’ve found it.
We forgive too easily because we long for something better.
We expect too much, because we are willing to offer more.
Weekend escapes are reviving mainly because they offer the much-needed getaway from our routine. Regardless of whether it’s boring or not, we all need some time away from what we usually do. If only, to change our perspective on life by merely altering the scenery around us and opening our eyes to something new.
Going to places abundant with myths and history is rejuvenating in more ways than the obvious.
And as spring approaches, nature is seemingly beautifying itself to welcome such excursions.
One of the most beautiful images of this time, is a cherry blossom in bloom.
It is so rare – the full bloom may only last a week – and short-lived (have a lifespan of 30-40 years) emphasising that pretty things should be enjoyed as long as they last, almost urging you to live the moment.
In Japanese folklore, cherry blossoms – sakura – represent the impermanent nature of life. They symbolise both birth and death, beauty and violence, as they historically signified the short but colourful life of the samurai.
Whatever they are believed to symbolise or represent, they are a majestic sight, reminding us that there is beauty everywhere, and can be enjoyed no matter how little it lasts. As long as you have the will and open-mindedness to do so.
We’ve been through a lot these past couple of years. Things we’d never even considered possible. Our way of life radically changed. Our routines, our habits, our ‘normality’. We’ve learned to expect nothing because everything can change from one minute to the next. And we’ve learned to anticipate the worst, because…well, we’ve seen it happen. We’ve seemingly lost hope but not the will to carry on.
But we’re spooked.
Because doubt and uncertainty have taken over us and our daily lives.
We spook too easy nowadays, precisely because we don’t know what to expect anymore.
We’ve been so used to the weird, the strange, the bad, the irregular, that when something ‘proper’ comes along, with no evident flaw, we’re scared. Afraid that like a bubble it will burst in our face and someone will be lurking around the corner ready to laugh.
We’re spooked because we know we deserve better but are too fearful of acknowledging that value in ourselves.
We’ve been through so much, yet we’ve survived it all.
Now we must show courage, in resisting the things we fear the most and walking straight through them. Good things are bound to happen. And perhaps everything we’re looking for is exactly on the other side of that paralysing fear.
Sometimes what you don’t know will actually save you.
Because sometimes it is better to be shielded from the reality you know but don’t want to see.
It’s easier to live in refusal of what is actually happening than face the truth that may shatter your insides.
There is a reason why it is said that “ignorance is bliss”. Because what you don’t know, won’t hurt you.
There is a great difference in sensing reality than actually experiencing it first-hand. Because for as long as you’re not witness to it, you still carry hope. And it that very hope is what helps you survive.
Every person you meet is a potential friend, contact, associate. Think about it. Your soulmate may be hidden behind the next eyes you contact at a first glance. Your best friend may be the person whose hand you’ll timidly shake. An associate may be found in the face you stutter at during an ice-breaking chat.
Every meeting is a possible life-changing one.
Isn’t that an optimistic and hopeful thought to make?
We never really know the truth in the expression “pleasure to meet you”, which we say in greeting someone new. We only acknowledge its true sense after time has passed and we get to know that person in depth. Sometimes it’s not a pleasure at all. But we don’t start off that way. We begin with the hope that this will be a significant encounter; one that will last and will be mutually beneficial and fruitful.
There are all sorts of people we meet. Some stay with us constantly, others come and go, and others only make a brief passage. But there is a sense of relief and gratitude in knowing that special relationships are never lost. People whom you’ve experienced things with in the past, who were part of your life, no matter how short or long a period, will always be there when you (or they) need help. That’s what friendship is.
We tend to seek reciprocity in our relations. But sometimes, what you give takes a long time to come back to you – if at all. That should not be the reason for doing what we do, however. We act in kindness because it’s a character trait. Put simply, it’s nice to be nice. And it’s definitely gratifying. It adds a spring to your step and a smile to your face. And all you really need in the end, is someone who asks how you are, who wants patiently to listen to your response, and who you can hear smiling in genuine satisfaction when all is well.
“When the worse is over, you’ll hardly remember it all. Trust me, people tend to forget the hardships they suffer, when ‘normality’ is restored”.
She stared at her aunt emitting words of wisdom. Her eyes were still puffy and red from the crying, but she had no more tears to shed. She was drained of energy and too exhausted to even speak.
“We’ve all been there. In some form or other. People experience all sorts of adversities in their life. It may be a separation, a loss, having to search for a house and move, having to build a life from scratch, dealing with bureaucracy, managing the lack of inefficiency or communication; all kinds of things. Whatever you can imagine. For each person, a challenge or a difficulty is interpreted differently. But there is one thing in common for all: whatever it is, however much you suffer, you always endure and come out stronger. The toil helps us become better people”.
“There is a truth that you find out who your real friends are when you’re in need of support. But the most profound truth is that in difficulty you discover yourself too. Who you are. And you’re amazed at how much the human spirit can withstand and survive”.
“So don’t despair. It will all pass. And you’ll look back, recalling the details you’ll soon wash away from memory, and you’ll laugh”.
She cracked a smile and her eyes sparkled again. Her aunt always had a way of making everything seem brighter. Even in the darkest of times, there is always a brink of light shining somewhere. She just needed someone to help her see it.
When you have a blank page staring back at you, there is something wanting about it. If you consider it, it’s full of opportunities, prospects, potential. The possibilities and stories with which to fill it up are endless.
There is something intrinsic about the colour white. It has class, elegance, purity, authenticity. It is like a diamond in the rough. It can be anything.
Perhaps that’s why we associate white with beginnings. Because it stores so much hope.
That’s why snow makes everything look pretty. Because it covers life’s imperfections and makes even wilted flowers look full of life again.