Petals Fall Like Snow

Petals don’t ask where to land, they simply fall with grace.

Sheniz Janmohamed

It’s snowing in the mountains while here in the valley petals, camouflaged as snow flakes, fall in waves as wind passes through blossom laden trees. The flowers of our magnolia and pear trees have begun to drop and soon the spent blossoms of their blushing cousins, the apple and cherry trees, will join them. When soft winds blow, their petals will fall and blanket the ground like a light winter snow. Proof we can’t always believe what we see.

At this time of year, Pacific storms push cloud formations behind existing ridges where they rise behind the Coburg Hills, creating a vision that looks for all the world like Himalayan peaks that have been thrust from the valley floor. In other places and other worlds, mirages

shimmer on the desert floor and black ice looks for all the world like asphalt. The eyes play tricks on us, but so do our ears and the limits of our language.

A horned toad is not a toad, a French horn is not a horn, and as it turns out, those shooting stars on which we wished as kids aren’t really stars at all. We once believed that all men are created equal, but a racial and religious codicil seems to have been added to the creed and now, at least for many, equality is granted only to those like ourselves. The Bible enjoins us to help the poor. “Let the man with two tunics share with him who has none, and let him who has food do likewise,” but once again it seems we have heard what we wanted to, rather than what was said. And, so despite living in a country where the poor, the tired and the hungry were once welcomed, we toy with walls and embargoes and an isolation that will one day be our downfall.

What then is real? For me, it is the small hands that grab mine and the scrape of chairs that gather round my table. It is a respect for words as they were written and not bent to my belief. It is the quiet of a garden and the fragrance of petals as they fall like snow upon the ground. It is friends and this place I call home. The blossom snow of spring brings with it a hope for eyes that can truly see, ears that can truly hear and hearts that are open to share the bounty and promise of the season.

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