If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that early mornings are my favorite time of day. That feeling of stillness and calm before another busy day begins – I crave it just like I crave coffee. When I was studying, my mother used to tell me the best time to study was right after waking up in the morning . I’m sure someone will win a Nobel Peace Prize for proving that it’s true but I hated it and so waking up was a chore. But a couple of years back when life was strangling me with obligations, in desperation for some me-time, I woke up an hour earlier. At first, it was a struggle but pretty soon, my eyes would spring open even before my alarm rang. An hour for me – yes, just me, myself and I, – indescribable bliss!
Right before I scoop some New York cheesecake and let it melt on my tongue, I’d ask you if you’ve heard of the saying ‘sometimes when I open my mouth, my mother comes out.’ (Guys, just replace mother with father). Yes, go ahead and laugh – ha! But it’s terrifying. My brain which is dutifully filled with modern parenting theories has on many occasions, failed to stop my mouth from spewing out scary-mom phrases from the ’90s. While my mouth shouts stuff like, stop your nonsense right now or you’ll get it or this cringe-worthy classic, how dare you speak to me that way – I am your motherrrr!, my brain is having a seizure, yelling at me – Oh my God! Listen to yourself! Whatever happened to calmly but firmly explaining bad behavior is not tolerated and therefore, there are consequences such as a tim- aaaanndd, this is the point where all my good intentions are hijacked. Does it happen to you too?
Oh, I’d have finished almost half my coffee by now. But there’s still time to tell you about what happened last month. It was wonderfully eventful. Winter officially loosened its grip over the city and sakura began to bloom everywhere. Family and some of my best friends came to visit me and to check sakura viewing off their bucket list. Well, it never crossed my mind that it should be on my bucket list – until I saw the splendor of an entire tree, heck an entire forest of pink and white. But like all things Japanese, there was an art to sakura viewing. If you rushed from one must-see spot to another like typical tourists (which I also did), the beauty of the season is soon lost as you get shoved and pushed by the crowds. Instead, I took a cue from my Japanese friends, packed a picnic and spread out a mat under a tree heavy with sakura blossoms. For the rest of my life, there will be few things that can compare to watching dainty petals swirling down in the breeze, a full tummy of delicious food and booze, and listening to the sounds of happiness all around me.
Alright, I have to get on with the rest of my day now. I’d give you a hug with promises to meet real soon, get on my bike and cycle off into the May sunshine.