A letter to a new friend I want to share with my readers. I hope she doesn't mind.
[My cousin] texted me and asked me to pray for you and your dad. And I will, as soon as I finish this letter.
In all my time studying other people, I have found so much to admire in your countrymen. They have their faults as well-- every nation does. But the one thing that has always touched me about your people is your resilience in the face of adversity. I have found that this resilience is common in other cultures as well, but it is most pronounced in Asian cultures: yours, mine, J_____'s and C_____'s.
I've never really seen sakura falling, except in movies or in anime. But I do understand what it means. Each blossom is like a snowflake-- beautiful and unique. And each will only come into its full beauty once, before "dying," falling onto the earth and into memory in a shower of petals. Try as we might, none of us can keep these blossoms from falling.
But we remember. And we know the cherry trees will one day, soon, bloom again.
Whether one is Christian or Buddhist, (in my case both) one cannot fail to understand these lessons:
Life is troubled, fleeting and poignantly beautiful. But the Giver of Life is always good. In the face of suffering, there is always hope; in the face of death, there is renewal.
We remember. And we know the cherry trees will one day bloom again.