I have a special love for folding origami cranes - my first trip to Japan was with my high school group of maybe 40 people and maybe two days before we were due in Hiroshima, we collectively, impulsively decided to fold 1000 paper cranes. On the train, on the bus, on the shinkansen, with our host sisters...everywhere. So many years on, the knowledge is almost permanently burned into my brain.There's something beautiful about the strong, clean lines; the simplicity of its form.

Last year, around my birthday, we'd had an unseasonably warm winter and the street was a fully, blooming pink, full of cherry blossoms that I took for granted. This year, as my birthday crept closer, I found myself contemplating the bare branches of the tree in our front yard, thinking absently and a little wistfully about how hard it would be to bloom in this cold.

I spent my last day as a twenty-year-old yesterday battling through howling wind and rain at 8:30AM in the morning. But walking home yesterday, I came home to see the first of the cherry blossoms on our street had bloomed, just in time - tiny little rain-drenched petals still facing the sky.

A quiet 'thank you' to whoever is above, watching down, or maybe just to the random chance alignment of the universe and onwards to tomorrow.