The tiniest fragments
“Somehow, even in the worst of times, the tiniest fragments of good survive. It was the grip in which one held those fragments that counted.” ― Melina Marchetta
“The NPS said that about 50 percent of the cherry blossoms survived, but now that we can see the flowers coming out it looks like that is going to look much better than that sounds…There are certainly whole trees where the cold damaged practically all of the blossoms on that tree, and there’s no question that the cold did significant damage–it’s easy to find the evidence of it. But most of them sustained only partial damage…even some of the individual blossoms that were damaged are still blooming. If you look very closely at some you can see that they have petals that are missing or have parts that are scorched brown but the rest of the flower looks fine. From a normal viewing distance, it just looks like a healthy flower, and you have to look very closely to notice it.” — 2017 Cherry Blossom Watch
Through a February that was among the all-time warmest on record, an early peak bloom was predicted for the famed cherry blossoms of the Washington DC area. But the weather pulled a cruel trick, reversing itself on March 10, just as the trees were budding. I had set the many flowering plants I nurtured through the winter out on the deck to enjoy the sunny warmth, but the night of Jeff’s burial, I forgot to bring them in, and with just one night’s exposure, they all froze. I was heartbroken, but cut back the dead leaves and decided to wait and watch in hope.
If the cherry trees are any indication, perhaps I may yet have a survivor among my scraggly plants. Our own trees, whose blooms I can see closely from our upstairs windows, are still beautiful despite having weathered the snowfalls, winds, and freezing temperatures. The buds were out on March 8, and I was afraid none of them would endure the long spell of cold weather that followed. But clearly, many of them did. I’m more thankful than ever for the resilience I see in them, and in so many other beautiful signs of hope.