The Fallen Petal
When I was a kid, my oldest brother spoke about how Japanese samurai looked at death like falling cherry blossoms. A symbolic bit of short-lived beauty fluttering to the ground in an aesthetically exquisite and noble demise. A lifelong fascination was ignited.
I lived in Japan for five and a half years during my twenties. The Japanese passion for cherry blossoms is not just a cultural stereotype. Celebrating their transient beauty at their fleeting floral peak truly is a national pastime.
The transitory nature of life sounds romantic in poetry, but for those of us who’ve experienced the sudden, unexpected loss of a young, apparently healthy person—never a chance to say goodbye, never a chance to express loving gratitude—once is more than enough.
Sudden loss can lead to complicated grief, one that never seems to process fully. The HikingAutism.com web site is part of my ongoing grief process about the unexpected loss of our young “autism whisperer.”
And yet we might experience such a loss again. And it hurts as much the second time. This week’s post is dedicated to the memory of another beautiful soul lost suddenly from our world.
One can only keep walking forward, and believe that the overwhelming sadness will someday evolve into happy ways of celebrating a life once lived, and the legacy left behind.
In western culture, it is a falling rose petal that symbolizes the intertwining of death and beauty.
This week’s Hike Notes leads readers to the Rose Garden – Golden Gate Park, home to stellar examples of the western world’s iconic flower, the rose, and a great visiting spot for longer walks in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
The long list of Hikes can be found on the Quick View Hike List and on the main Hikes page. All past Insights posts can also be viewed in the Insights/Hike Update News archives.
Check the Home page for the broader background story. If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photo galleries at the bottom of each hike page! Click Insights/Hike Update News for inspiring reflections. Please feel free to share.
New this week:
Hike Notes 108: Rose Garden – Golden Gate Park
Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.