This is Blossom.
There was a single tree that stood at the end of the street near my house. Surrounded by grey battered apartment buildings, it stood alone ignored by the cars and people buzzing by. For seven years I passed by it every day as I walked to the train station and made my way to school, never paying much attention to the tree. But for a brief week every year, it would grow into the most beautiful cherry blossom tree, it’s bright pink flowers glowing in the sunshine, radiating joy and symbolizing new beginnings.
Growing up, I attended a school that was located an hour and a half away from my house. For seven years I remember struggling to wake up every morning at 5:30, when the house was still quiet and I would rush to get ready and be out of the house by 6 to catch the train.
What I remember most about my commute to school was the walk from my house to the train station. Hardly anyone was on the streets that early in the morning, and I always felt a sense of dread and loneliness as I made my way down the steps of my house and onto the street. My commute during the icy winters was the worst. I would leave the house when it was dark and come home when it was dark. In high school, when my depression was at its worst, the icy and dark winters always served as a reminder of my loneliness.
But perhaps my favorite part of my commute to school was being able to witness the cold winter mornings and nights transform into warm springs, and the excitement of seeing that single tree at the end of the street.
Cherry blossom trees start to bloom towards the end of March and in Japanese culture they have always marked new beginnings. On dark and gloomy mornings, the tree served as a reminder of the warmth and joy that was waiting just a few months away. It was what kept me going during hard times, it was a reminder that there is always good at the end of a long and strenuous journey.
And that’s where Blossom got its name.
The struggles that we go through, the challenges we face, all shape us into the beautiful humans that we are. We take on each and every challenge with grace and turn it into our own masterpiece.
Blossom is a place where ideas, art, culture, and movements come together and bloom.
This is Blossom.
Translated by: Yuko C.S.