At the same time, my work consisted of picking up various temp jobs, freelance writing assignments, auditioning and occasionally shooting scenes for a film I was acting in. As much as I appreciated the freedom of pursuing my dreams, sometimes it was terrifying not to know what came next. I couldn’t see the results of my efforts and I struggled with feelings of doubt.
We decided it might be helpful to create a daily routine that we could do together, in order for me to maintain some semblance of routine (and sanity). So we began hiking up the hill of our nearby park every morning before Yohei’s work.
When we started walking in March, it was still very cold outside. One of the first things we noticed was a magnolia tree with buds that looked almost ready to bloom. I decided it might be fun to photograph this tree in stages, so I began taking pictures of it every morning.
The buds soon bloomed into delicate, pink flowers. Everyone in the park (including us) celebrated and admired this tree. A flurry of excitement and picture taking ensued. It was the first sweet sign of beauty after a long winter.
But after about a week, the magnolia had reached its peak and its flowers began to fall. Still, I continued taking pictures of the magnolia every day.
As time passed, I watched its green, summer leaves turn gold in the autumn and eventually fall off in winter. Most days, there wasn’t anything beautiful or particularly exciting about the magnolia tree. But I had the memory of its magnificent blooms etched in my mind, and I was intrigued by this process of transformation.
Each season played a crucial role in its development and would determine how it flowered in the spring. Every moment (whether seen or unseen) was necessary to its eventual bloom.Witnessing this process helped me get past the discouragement of not seeing the outward results that I desired in my own life.
And through this practice of observing, I began to ask myself a few questions related to my own life and experiences:
Was I willing to cultivate what I could not yet see in my own life?
Could I stay present to the small and subtle changes happening gradually over time?
Could I remember even in the darkest, coldest times that blooming was still possible?
Was I able to see the beauty in my own life, even when it seemed obscure or barely noticeable?
Could I appreciate more than just a desired outcome?
May we all have the faith to keep growing in every moment, so that we bloom into all that we are meant to become.
Yohei took pictures of that same tree in full bloom this year, and the photographs are featured in our “Let All Things Bloom” collection, available for a limited time only.
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