I rarely cry, because I cried so much in the early years post diagnosis of this and that. But yesterday at the hospital the gentle kindness in a friend's 'how are you?' sent me to the tissues. I've been having a rotten time with the disease acting up, which always makes my world narrow, my fears bloom. Meanwhile April is coming to an end and our cherry tree has stretched from white glory to a brown study.
Angelina (my sister) had some friends over for tea, and their daughter, quiet as a mouse in the house, blossomed into a mixture of Ariel and Puck under the cherry tree. Painstakingly, she gathered individual sakura, collected them into her hat and then poured them over our heads. 'If only,' she mused, 'the petals could fall all at once!' I have since learned this is exactly what happens in Japan after the hanami festival: the sakura falls thick and fast and the word for this is hanafubuki.
After hospital, coming home to little girls who hand me petals and feathers, is a delight…
I like the floophing, flumping feel of sakura. And so do my nieces who carry the fallen delicates across to me and fix them in my hair. Today I feel more alive than yesterday. Everything that was not good yesterday is better today. Angelina whipped up some baking magic and delivered apple roses to my door even though she is sick with the streaming cold that has beset the twins. I am being kept at arms' length for my own sake.
With that special evening light streaming in this evening, my nose dusted with icing sugar (a hanafubuki of the baking kind), I feel hopeful again. And so it swings. Apparently this is what creative types do. But even in my despair and even in my hope, I am aware of the stories round the globe, and since there is little I can do, for now I shall try to keep up morale. Blow down cherry blossom if you must, I am standing in the sun.