One of my most enduring memories of Toykyo: a late evening walk by a river watching groups of people sitting on small patches of grass drinking, quietly looking up into the drifting petals of white and pink. It was mid April, nearing the end of cherry blossom season which all the better exemplified the palpable 'mono no aware'; a bittersweet fullness of knowledge that all things pass. Empathy for the transitory nature of the tree's beauty and cyclical nature of living...a openness to being --- as creatures of the earth --- ephemeral and temporary.
I've never thought so much about the concepts internal to 'mono no aware' as I have in the recent months. (Sparked by personal transitions and having completed training to be a hospice patient care volunteer.) There's so much vulnerability in flux. A reminder to allow one's self a "gentle sadness" at the impermanent nature of all things, including your own sense and definition of self, is really quite critical I'm thinking in times of transition.