It was a fresh spring day 2020 when I read the sign on the garden gate that said “temporarily closed” due to COVID-19. The benches outside the garden had been taken away to encourage social distancing. It was the beginning of something that no one was able to define or categorize. We were heading into the unknown.
The word ‘temporary’ has different meanings, but I knew instinctively that the garden doors would not open in time for me to see the tulips come to life. The bulbs that had been planted in autumn by diligent gardeners, would awaken inside those closed doors, in quiet spaces, with the hum of bees and the sound of wind fluttering the trees.
When I turned away from the garden and into a busy parking lot adjacent to our local grocery store, I saw the cherry trees in full bloom. They beckoned me to stand under their branches. The rattling of grocery carts, the occasional car honk and the chatter of passersby, receded as I looked up into the pink blossoms and blue sky.
That was when I remembered the words of Vincent van Gogh: “There is peace even in the storm.” The unknown will always be with us, but in the midst of uncertainty, the cherry blossoms are a reminder that our lives are contained in moments.