It was the start of the end of this year’s cherry blossom season. Finally, we found a good spot for a picnic under the trickle of pink-white petals.

While the sakura are still gorgeous, trickling petals and sprouting leaves signal the end to the annual bloom.

“Daddy, why do the Sakura flowers have to fall?” Iva asked.

“So they can give way to the fruits,” was my hurried hungry reply. Later, though, as some nourishment sat in, I found my answer quite silly, as most of these sakura were floral, not the fruiting kind.

But I understood why the little lady would ask such a thing. Sakura are so amazingly beautiful, especially at the peak of their blossoming, that’s why Japanese take time to sit under one and enjoy the moment. So why wouldn’t God just leave them as they are: beautiful and majestic, much less allow them to break off after a short while?

The kids trying to catch some falling petals.

Then it felt like God did a “how about this for an answer” when, suddenly, a gust of wind blew hard not far from us.

A gust of wind sending cherry petals in flight.

“Whoa, look at the wind!” And the kids were off to where the magical swirl of petals was, what they later told was like a scene from Disney’s Encanto.

We never got back to the falling sakura talk. The petal dance had made Iva forget.

Sakura fall because God loves a petal dance. There’s an answer. Until the next sakura season and petal dance then, I thought to myself.

God loves a petal dance to celebrate the return of life.

A few days later, on a trail, sweating and panting and still unable to see the peak of a mountain hike, I found myself stopping at the sight of another petal dance.

Having passed cherry trees already full of leaves on the ascent, I was sure that sakura season in this part of the country was over. But there it was, a late bloomer sakura shaking off its flakes to the gentle breeze.

The towering pines had toned down the scenery, which made the petals flicker like fireflies as they spread through the woods. To the mellow music of a gentle breeze, I had chanced upon a spring snow in perfectly dimmed ambient light.

Sakura snow in the woods

So, why does God break an already beautiful sakura flower? Maybe, it is to teach us not just to treasure beauty, but to enjoy the source of all beauty and good most of all. And, as creator of all things, God’s palette is all things. The sakura flower is just one shade of amazing. He is just reminding us there’s still the “far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” that He is able to do, if we will learn to walk with Him.

God’s palette is all things, not just the sakura.
There’s the petal dance, and there’s also petal art.