There's something really uplifting about trees in blossom - a sudden riot of colour that is as brief as it is beautiful.
A.E. Housman wrote about their transient beauty in his poem Loveliest of Trees, describing how lovely cherry trees are when "hung with bloom along the bough". If you're lucky, the poem continues, you might live to see 70 such blossoms in your life. Ezra Pound echoed this in his haiku Station at the Metro which likens the "apparition of pale faces" in a crowd of commuters to "petals on a wet, black bough".
Cherry blossom has long been associated with Japan where the tradition of hanami dates back centuries. Hanami literally means "flower viewing" and was originally a custom for those in the Imperial court to enjoy lunch and sake while contemplating the cherry blossom (sakura).
Now it's a modern celebration where people meet to party under the cherry trees while they're in bloom. The cherry trees blossom at different times in different regions of Japan and so Japan's Meteorological Agency issues a "blossom front" forecast each year to help people plan their hanami celebrations.
Cherry trees became popular in the US and Europe too in the early 1900s as collectors imported specimens of different cherry trees. In 1912 Japan gifted 3,020 cherry trees to the United States to mark the nations' growing friendship. These trees were planted in Manhattan, in what became Sakura Park.
Of course there are far more blossoms to spot than simply cherry tree blossom. The National Trust encouraged us to share photos of blossoms from around the UK using the hashtag #BlossomWatch to "map the blossom as it blooms". It was a campaign that really inspired people to capture the moment and take a moment to appreciate the nature on our doorstep.
Tree blossoms last only a week or two so it's lovely to enjoy them while we can. And for those rainy days when we need something to lift our spirits we've created a Shooglebox of blossoms from #BlossomWatch - you can see it here.
It's easy to create your own "mood-lifting" collection using Shooglebox. You can include whatever you like - photos of loved ones, friends, family and pets; inspirational quotes; memories of a special occasion or time in your life; feelgood music; funny memes and TikToks and reminders of what makes you happy.
For more ideas and examples of mood-lifting collections from other Shooglebox users visit Shooglebox.com.