Cherry tree blossoms have been used as a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life that has often been associated with the end of life. They are said to be associated with mono no aware, which can be translated as: “the pathos of things”, “an empathy toward things”, or “a sensitivity to ephemera.” The term is used to describe the awareness of impermanence or the transience of things, and a gentle sadness at their passing.
Cherry Blossom. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved Sep 28, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_blossom
UW cherry tree photo credits for this web site: Luis Antonio Rodríguez Ochoa [luisar] via Creative Commons