~~To the left you'll see my new picture of a Kwanzan Cherry Tree in full bloom. My Yoshino is starting to bloom about a month early as well. I knew there had to be some symbolism behind the loveliness we all associate with Japan. Here's a bit from a Wikipedia article on cherry blossoms. (Go HERE for the entire article.)
In Japan cherry blossoms also symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life, an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition that is often associated with Buddhistic influence, and which is embodied in the concept of mono no aware... The transience of the blossoms, the extreme beauty and quick death, has often been associated with mortality; for this reason, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic...Cherry blossoms are an enduring metaphor for the fleeting nature of life, and as such are frequently depicted in art.
~~My prayers are still with Japan. The photo below is of cherry blossoms near Tsuruga Castle Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima, Japan.