The Cherry Blossoms Are Blooming


© John Brand

I used to hate gardening, but that was before. Now I find it gives me a sense of peace. I remember that he liked gardening. He found it relaxing, even in the heat of the day, which used to drive me crazy.

I wear his old gardening hat. The brim shields my face and removes the glare from my eyes.

It’s springtime, the season of life. The cherry blossoms are in bloom. I have to clean them up of course, but now instead of just being work, it’s a duty and a privilege. I use his old wheelbarrow, the one that reminds me of the difference between belief and faith.

I hadn’t realized how deep his faith ran, while all I had to fall back on was belief and an intellectual’s arguments to defend it.

His death shook me in a way I hadn’t anticipated. It’s tremors disturbed my beliefs and threw me into the deep waters of faith. I drowned in that faith, and rose again like my Dad will someday in the resurrection, just like trees bloom again in the spring.

I wrote this as part of the Sunday Photo Fictioner challenge. The idea is to use the photo above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 183.

As some of you may know, my Dad died suddenly last Wednesday afternoon. My brother and I have been going through Dad’s things and our Dad never seemed to have thrown away anything. It’s been quite a chore.

But it has let us know our Dad in a way we never really did before. We discovered his passions, his habits, and how he saw his life. Unlike the story above, he wasn’t quite the avid gardener I’ve painted, but in viewing the green and growing things in my parent’s house, and now it’s my Mom’s house, I find hope for the future, a transition from belief to faith.

Oh, in the body of the story, I included a link to an essay I wrote based on a parable of a man who pushed a wheelbarrow across a tight rope. I think it is quite illuminating.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to

17 thoughts on “The Cherry Blossoms Are Blooming

  1. Coming from a long line of gardeners and farmers, this hit home for me. I once didn’t like gardening…then one day a photograph of spring crocus coming up through the snow bit me, and I have been dangerously infected myself. Good job.


  2. I am sorry for the loss of your father James. Thank you for taking the time to write in these moments of grief. I appreciate it.

    It is a good story. I can relate as it reminds me a little of when my grandmother died in 1988.


    • Thank you. My children are taking his death hard. My wife and I are going back down in about a week or so to help my Mom with finalizing some of my Dad’s affairs. It’s hardest on her.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve not lost a close family member, so I can’t pretend to know what you are going through. I have lost aunts, uncles and grandparents, but not a sibling or parent. I know the hole will never be filled, but I have heard that the edges become less jagged, less painful.


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