At Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hanh‘s retreat center in France, they take a day at the end of March to sit outside and look at the Plum Blossoms. Below are a few Zen Poems to help you contemplate the change of seasons.
Spring has its hundred flowers,
Autumn its moon,
Summer has its cooling breezes,
Winter its snow.
If you allow no idle concerns
To weight on your heart,
Your whole life will be one
Perennial good season. (from The Golden Age of Zen)
Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life. (by Wu Men Hui-k’ai, Translation by Stephen Mitchell in The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry)
My legacy –
What will it be?
Flowers in spring,
The cuckoo in summer,
And the crimson maples
Of autumn (Ryokan from Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf, Translated by John Stevens)
Are we to look at cherry blossoms only in full bloom, the moon only when it is cloudless? To long for the moon while looking on the rain, to lower the blinds and be unaware of the passing of spring—these are even more deeply moving. Branches about to blossom or gardens strewn with faded flowers are worthier of our admiration. (Yoshida Kenko, from Essays in Idleness)