I did a quick search to read about cherry blossoms, sakura, and found a wonderful passage explaining the Buddhist concept of mono no aware and how historically in Japanese culture, the trees symbolize the transient nature of life.
Mono no aware, literally “the pathos of things,” and also translated as “an empathy toward things,” or “a sensitivity to ephemera,” is a Japanese term for the awareness of impermanence, or transience of things, and both a transient gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing as well as a longer, deeper gentle sadness about this state being the reality of life.
Although I wasn’t fully aware of the rich meaning associated with cherry trees, their short-lived blossoms have affected me every year since I was in college and their blooms popped up all around the art studio during spring semester at the University of Illinois. I had a familiar feeling of newness, wonder, and nostalgia as I photographed these trees at the University of Washington, Seattle’s much-loved viewing spot.
More photos of cherry tree blossoms taken while walking around Capitol Hill on a much more typical Seattle day.
Mono no aware has frequently been translated as “the ‘ahh-ness’ of things,” life, and love. Awareness of the transience of all things heightens appreciation of their beauty, and evokes a gentle sadness at their passing.