Travels with my Art

Paintings and Photographs inspired by Travels Around the World

The Mindfulness of Blossom in Kungsträdgården, Stockholm

Cherry Blossom in Kungsträgården 

For just a few days every Spring the trees in Kungsträgården, Stockholm, are alive with bright pink cherry blossom.

Blossom in Kungsträdgården

Walking through the avenues of blossom trees which line the sides of the pedestrianized square, I realized I was the focusing my attention on that present moment. I was experiencing a moment of mindfulness. The Buddhist theme of mindfulness is the ability to the live in the present. Looking at the blossom, I was aware that I was doing just this. Not only was I enjoying the moment-by-moment, but also I was aware of my thoughts, feelings and surrounding environment.

Blossom in Kungsträdgården

For many around the world the life of the cherry blossom flower is so short. As a result of this they have become a symbol for the fleeting nature of life. 

 

Sweden and the Coronavirus

Every year the blossom attracts crowds of people, but not this year.  Because of the Coronavirus pandemic the crowds in 2020 had thinned out. The few people who were there were observing the Government advised social distancing and keeping well apart. 

Sweden’s approach to the pandemic is almost unique in Europe. Rather than a lockdown, the Government has asked Swedes to do ‘the right thing’, and has given them the liberty to prove they are ‘responsible citizens’.

This controversial COVID-19 approach has caused criticism and praise both nationally and internationally. Whether you agree with the Swedish approach or not, nobody will know the answer to this until the pandemic crisis is over. Maybe the Swedish Government are  playing Russian roulette, who knows?

 

Painting the Blossom 

Later that day, while I was doing a painting of the cherry blossom, I thought there seemed to be a link between the blossom and Coronavirus. People believe the cherry blossom tree is a reminder of how precious their lives really are, as does the pandemic.

In Japan for many centuries the flowering cherry tree, known as sakura, is also a symbol of renewal and future happiness.  

Although life is rather dark and uncertain for many at the moment, hopefully COVID-19 will pass. And soon there will be some light at the end of the tunnel. 

 

Blossom against blue sky (acrylic on canvas)

Blossom against blue sky (acrylic on canvas)

 

A trip down memory lane 

Flashback photo to us visiting the blossom six years ago in 2014 (with the crowds of people). 

Ali and family under the blossom trees in Kungsträdgården, in Stockholm, Sweden (2014)

 

A couple of sketches of the blossom from my Swedish sketchbooks. 

 

Haiku Poetry about Blossom

Without regret
they fall and scatter…
cherry blossoms

by Konayashi Issa 

 

The What a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms.”

By Konayashi Issa 

 

Very brief –
Gleam of blossoms in the treetops
On a moonlit night.

By Basho Matsuo

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