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The Beauty of Impermanence

by Tamara Levitt

This weekend the cherry blossoms took full bloom. Its


always an exciting time when for just two weeks each year,
these magical trees can be appreciated. The park was
crowded with people taking photos and admiring their
beauty.
Theres a great lesson to be found in the ephemeral nature
of cherry blossoms. Since we know they will one day be
gone, were able to easily appreciate every millisecond
theyre in bloom. It reminds me of the Japanese term mono
no aware, which loosely means a sensitivity to ephemera,
the bittersweet feeling of seeing things change. Mono no aware is a wistful, reverent awareness
of the transitory nature of existence.
According to this idea, cherry blossoms are not beautiful despite only blossoming for two weeks
once a year. They are beautiful because they only blossom for two weeks once a year. Because
of their ephemeral nature, we cant help but view them with awe and appreciation.
Walking around the park, I was reminded that if we viewed everything in the same way we view
the cherry blossoms, recognizing that each moment we have is precious and fleeting (because it
is!), wed experience so much more appreciation in our lives. This is a difficult feat of course, to
regard the ordinary as magical and precious. But if we look deeply enough, theres usually magic
to be found.
There is great wisdom in the understanding that everything is ever-changing. Everything is here
one day and then its gone. Poof! Nothing is permanent. And this isnt just true of human lives, it
is a reality that pervades every corner of the universe. Today, the tallest tree in the woods;
tomorrow, a log of carbon laying on the forest floor. Today, a massive, glowing star; tomorrow,
a disparate cloud of cooling elements.
Theres much to be gained by accepting impermanence, rolling with it, even seeing the beauty in
it. For its only because life ends that our years on this Earth are so precious, only because of the
harsh winds of winter that we drink up every sundrenched moment of summer.
By viewing the beauty and preciousness of impermanence we open to reality and experience
deeper appreciation in our lives.
So today, I invite you to look around and find appreciation in the beauty of all that is
impermanent. Which of course, includes absolutely everything.