I like azaleas. I like their bold, unapologetic colors. Azaleas grow within reach, not far from the ground and they hold nothing back. They don’t like being cut or shaped, they want to be what they will and they stand out proudly from the rest of the greenery when in bloom.
By contrast, cherry blossoms are angelic. With an almost celestial but earthy pink they emerge in puffs that hang overhead like small clouds. Petals rain when the wind blows, dotting the ground. A single tree is a lovely thing. A series of cherry blossom trees together, forming canopies, is an event.
If azaleas scream their presence, cherry blossoms whisper and giggle.
We’re living in a world that is so loud, so certain, so rooted, not wanting to be shaped. We are what we are, we say. We’ve lost the ability to look up, to dream, to be soft and to let go.
I will never tire of watching children jump and reach upwards from their parents arms, curious to know if the petals are as soft as they look. (They are). In my last post I found words for the hope I feel for a new generation of outdoor adventurers and environmental stewards. I think they will be more cherry blossom than azalea, more gentle and joyful, dancing with great abandon instead of bracing against the blowing wind, spreading their individual goodness everywhere, above and below.