36 cherry blossom quotes about life and renewal
I remember going to the National Cherry Blossom Festival as a child. Watching thick winter-frosted trunks push up flowers so delicate and soft and un-city-like felt like a fantasy in motion.
And when DC winters came undone, you could see spring wrap the air. Each of the Tidal Basin cherry trees hummed a song of renewal.
It’s crazy to think that cherry blossoms bloom for at most two weeks. The DC I remember the most was laced in pink.
And while I wish the city looked that way year-round, I have to admit the fleeting nature of cherry blossoms taught me a huge life lesson – our time on earth is short and it’s what we do with it that counts.
So here are 36 cherry blossom quotes that remind me of DC (well, I think, at this point, just the word cherry blossom reminds me of DC). They’re also about life and gratitude and renewal. They’re excerpts from my favorite books (I recently wrapped up The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov, which inspired part of this post) and movies. They’re also snippets from poems and sayings and interviews.
Update: A blog reader also pointed out that a majority of these cherry blossom quotes also have “to do with Japan and the relevance of Cherry Blossom to Japanese people” (thank you Vipin for sharing this).
40 Cherry Blossom Quotes
- “The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years. In their country, the cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It’s a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short.” – Homaro Cantu
- “Due to their short bloom time, Sakura blossoms are a metaphor for life itself: beautiful yet fleeting. You’ll realize when you’re as old as me to hang on to the good times because they won’t last forever.” – Shannon Mullen
- “Yes, the cherry trees put this truth very plainly: none of the glory of blossoms and autumn leaves lasts long in this fleeting world.” – The Tale Of Genji
- “The notion is called wabi-sabi life, like the cherry blossom, it is beautiful because of its impermanence, not in spite of it, more exquisite for the inevitability of loss.” – Peggy Orenstein
- “Sakura, sakura they fall in the dreams of sleeping beauty” – Yosa Buson
- “From heaven, it descends like, sakura petals drop.” – Issa Kobayachi
- “Loveliest of trees, the cherry now is hung with bloom along the bough.” – Alfred Housman
- “Only in dreams of spring shall I ever see again the flowering of my cherry trees.” – Frances Hodgson Burnett
- “Are we to look at cherry blossoms only in full bloom, the moon only when it is cloudless? To long for the moon while looking on the rain, to lower the blinds and be unaware of the passing of spring—these are even more deeply moving. Branches about to blossom or gardens strewn with faded flowers are worthier of our admiration.” – Yoshida Kenko
- “Since ancient times, the Japanese have heralded the arrival of the cherry blossoms because they symbolize the ephemeral beauty of life. But it isn’t just the three or four days of open flowers that stirs the senses. It is their arrival and departure.” – Victoria Abbott Riccardi
- “Look at the cherry blossoms! Their color and scent fall with them, are gone forever, yet mindless, the spring comes again.” – Ikkyu
- “Let us find inner freedom in each lucky moment that we encounter, like a sun-basking butterfly that finds peace on a cherry blossom petal.” – Erik Pevernagie
- “We celebrate the cherry tree not for its efficiency but for its effectiveness – and for its beauty. Its materials are in constant flow, and all those thousands of useless cherry blossoms look gorgeous. Then they fall to the ground and become soil again.” – William McDonough
- “The ancients waited for cherry blossoms, grieved when they were gone, and lamented their passing in countless poems. How very ordinary the poems had seemed to Sachiko when she read them as a girl, but now she knew, as well as one could know, that grieving over fallen cherry blossoms was more than a fad or convention.” – Junichiro Tanizaki
- “A cherry tree was coming into bloom, shooting out a froth of sugar-pink blossoms. She could see from its size and the gnarled branches that it was a mature tree, yet still capable of putting on such a wonderful show. A new beginning every spring, even from an old tree.” – Maggie Alderson
- “And meanwhile, meanwhile’s far from nothing: the humming moment, the rustle of cherry trees.” – Rachel Wetzsteon
- “In the cherry blossom’s shade there’s no such thing as a stranger.” – Kobayashi Issa
- “It would be lovely to sleep in a wild cherry-tree all white with bloom in the moonshine.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery (love Anne from Anne Of Green Gables)
- “What a strange thing! To be alive beneath cherry blossoms.” – Kobayashi Issa
- “As you scatter and leave, we’ll wait for your return. In next year’s spring, a life that is renewed.” – Akiko Ichimaru
- “The fragrant fallen blossoms have passed me by, I closed my eyes for a moment and thought of you” – Denis J Ryan Harman
- “Darling, you’re the beauty of a hummingbird and the standstill of a cherry blossom.” – Cheyenne Raine
- “Love is like cherry blossoms. They bloom at the first promise of spring. They beautify even the grayest landscape, they scatter at the first gust of wind. But as they hold, when you look at them, you steal a little view of paradise.” – Georgia Kakalopoulou
- “I will bring you flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses. I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.” – Pablo Neruda
- “I have a pretty good memory but memories are time being, too, like cherry blossoms on ginkgo leaves; for a while, they are beautiful and then they fade and die.” – Ruth Ozeki
- “All around us the blossoms flurry down whispering, Be patient you have an ancient beauty.” – Toi Derricotte
- “How many, many things they call to mind these cherry-blossoms!” – Bashō Matsuo
- “Between our two lives, there is also the life of the cherry blossom.” – Bashō Matsuo
- “Light as feathers, as fleeting as Zephyr, one moment they breathed pink, the next they faded. Cherry blossoms were as much an inspiration for beautiful verse as they were a reminder of life’s fickleness, she thought.” – Alice Poon
- “One of the legends suggesting why the cherry trees’ blossoms are so exquisite and ephemeral says that the fairy Ko-no-hana-sakuya-hime, the ‘maiden who causes trees to bloom,’ hovers low in the spring sky, awakening the sleeping trees with her delicate breath.” – Ann McClellan
- “If I were asked to explain the Japanese spirit, I would say it is wild cherry blossoms glowing in the morning sun.” – Motoori Norinaga
- “I’ve seen spring come to the orchard every year as far back as I can remember and I’ve never grown tired of it. Oh, the wonder of it! The outrageous beauty! God didn’t have to give us cherry blossoms you know. He didn’t have to make apple trees and peach trees burst into flower and fragrance. But God just loves to splurge. He gives us all this magnificence and then, if that isn’t enough, He provides fruit from such extravagance.” – Lynn Austin
- “Break open a cherry tree and there are no flowers, but the spring breeze brings forth myriad blossoms.” – Ikkyu
- “I’d like to divide myself in order to see, among these mountains, each and every flower of every cherry tree.” – Saigyo
- “I’ll be like Sakura Tree branching out to touch everybody’s soul and their inner sense of beauty” – Haruhi
- “I bloomed up all over again despite knowing, cherry blossoms are only meant to wither.” – Eayra
Did you enjoy these cherry blossom quotes? What are your favorite cherry blossom quotes? Let me know in the comments below! I love hearing from you.