Spring sunshine warms us
Soft scent surrounds our senses
Ah – cherry blossom!
It's sometimes said that we remember not perfect hours but perfect moments.
I think we certainly remember moments of pure happiness and the Japanese poetry form of haiku is perfectly structured to express those moments.
Just at present cold winds and hail have stripped the cherry blossom from my life. I am left shivering, under bare branches, feeling unloved, unwanted, unneeded, and desolate.
Oh, don't waste your sympathy or pity - I can provide quite enough self-pity of my own, thank you; the point is, not that I am having a severe attack of the blues at present, but what lessons I can glean from it and pass on.
Sometimes it takes hitting bottom, or being able to see bottom at least to set the alarm bells ringing. For me it's usually thoughts of, "I'm such a failure at everything: why don't I just take myself out of it completely?"
But, for one thing, I have promised my children I won't kill myself and for another I've implanted that alarm. The alarm goes something like, "If the thoughts get that serious then for goodness' sake talk to someone!"
It could be anyone. I have good friends who won't panic if I go to them with this. It could be the Samaritans – they're trained to deal with people at the bottom. In the end, it was my husband – who can always be relied on to keep his head and to come up with a game plan – even if the game isn't the one I want to play or the plan one I like.
The most powerful weapon I have against the blues is my brain. It takes an immense effort of will to raise my head from the morass of churning emotion and to categorise all this as "just" feelings. Because they hurt – they really do hurt. But if I take a step away, and then another step away, I can see that most of these feelings depend upon subjective thoughts of failure and rejection.
So – okay – I can't actually twist my thoughts round from their entrenched viewpoint, but I can intellectually understand that there may be other points of view. My own perspective may not represent the total truth.
"But it's MY total truth!" wails the small child inside me who will not be comforted.
"For the moment," my older and wiser self replies. "For the moment your happiness and joy have been stripped away. Just now you are feeling bereft.
"But hold on. While life remains in you there is still the cherry tree. The blossom will come again next year. And the year after. And the year after that.
"There will be many more perfect moments. Just hold on and see."
A Moodscope member.