Koreans have a deep appreciation for the beauty of blooming flowers, and famous flower festivals attract millions of visitors from both near and far. Festivals featuring short-lived blooms, like the cherry blossom festival, are particularly hyped and generate a crazy amount of buzz. These festivals have evolved into sacred traditions for the local Koreans. The entire nation comes together to witness the cherished, fully-blossomed flowers. Weather forecasts even include predictions and timelines for when the flowers will bloom, and many people purchase the latest camera gear and camping equipment to capture the beauty of these ephemeral moments.
When I first moved to Korea, I couldn’t comprehend the excitement surrounding flowers. What was the allure of being crowded by fellow humans just to catch a glimpse of colored petals?
Despite the mind-numbing traffic jams, the challenge of finding parking, and the massive crowds, I have come to appreciate the cathartic joy of immersing myself in Mother Nature’s beauty. It’s an increasingly rare experience that unites millions of lives together in a shared appreciation of the nature.
What makes these flower blooms truly fascinating is that they have been there all along, diligently photosynthesizing without any spectators or special attention. Then suddenly, they are showered with praises and admiration, only to be forgotten once again, returning to their quiet existence.
As I reflected on my life, I couldn’t help but notice how much it resembles those waiting flowers, patiently biding their time to bloom. I, too, take care of mundane tasks every day without any spectators. I go to work, spend time with my son after work, take care of household chores, and then go to bed, only to wake up, and repeat the same things the next day. My life, for the moment, feels unremarkable and uninteresting. The days seem mundane, plain, and devoid of any thrilling highlights because life is a lot more constrained when raising a son with a pregnant wife. It’s as if I’m stuck in a monotonous rhythm, and my life is going to be unremarkable and uninteresting for awhile.
Would my past-self approve of the life choices that led me to where I am today? Looking back, my past-self also went through many mundane tasks without any spectators, eagerly awaiting the time to bloom. Would he be happy to know that his future-self is still waiting for that moment, engaged in an assortment of average activities every day? What were my hopes and aspirations back then, and have I achieved everything I hoped for?
Then, it dawned upon me that starting a family of my own was one of the many things I had hoped for back then. The sequence of average tasks I now perform, such as waking my son up, handling drop-offs and pick-ups at daycare, changing diapers, and taking walks around the neighborhood, are all the beautiful byproduct of the flower blossom I had envisioned in the past.
It’s natural to get caught up in the daily tasks and responsibilities, and sometimes I may overlook the beauty and significance of the family blossoming right in front of our eyes. Just like the flower blooms, the time to grow our family in number is fleeting and will soon come to an end. Many of the peripheral tasks that currently occupy my life will dissipate once this unremarkable, uninteresting yet special phase of life passes.
While it’s essential to take care of my responsibilities, I would like to pause and appreciate these moments of creating a new family because they are some of the most spectacular blossoms that I can witness in my life.