Eating Plum Blossom Off The Tree Branch

“Eat it, eat it!” my husband said.  So I think for the first time in my life,  I ate (or at least acted like I did) a plum blossom off a tree branch.

We were having a long walk today along Hayase River.  We passed by small factories, vegetable gardens, houses big and small, elementary schools, trees and plants planted along the narrow riverbank road.  We first sensed beautiful fragrance, and knew immediately that it was coming from the plum tree with blossoms ahead of us.  Not all blooming trees release such strong, intoxicating fragrance.  The timing of the tree blossom makes all the difference.  Just within a few days, fragrance is gone.

I didn’t touch the flower.  As a deer or giraffe would, leaning close to the tree, I put the flower into my mouth.  As my lips touched the plum flower petals,  I was surprised by the sensation that I was kissing the tree.  The petals felt like gentle lips.  And as I walked away, the beautiful fragrance filled my head.  “It must be the pollen!  My mouth is full of delicious plum taste!”   Such fresh, new sensation.  It reminded me of plum wine, plum pickle, plum flavored gum, but not quite the same, much better experience.  The soft aroma lingered in my mouth for a few minutes, and it made me think of the user experience research.

We just have to be there, the place, the season, the moment.  I have eaten rose petals before.  I have eaten pansy petals in salad.  But never before off a branch, when the fragrance is strongest, directly into my mouth, not touching with my hands.  It is totally different experience.  This must be closest to animal’s flower eating experience.  It never occurred to me to eat flower off of branch before.  I ought to start doing stuff that never occurred  to me before, to experience something ordinary in a brand new way.

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