“This idea is tied to Buddhist theme of mindfulness—the practiced ability to live in the present. The life cycle of these flowers make us question why we fail to live life to the fullest, why we don’t spend time with our loved ones, and why we do not take the time to simply pay attention to the living, breathing world around us. Cherry blossom festivals are a time to regain our perspective on life, and to make a promise not to take the good things in our lives for granted.”

The Symbolism of the Cherry Blossom.

Alive in My Solitude

The blossoming cherry trees and the bells of North Cambridge soothe my feelings of anxiety during the late afternoons of my physical isolation. It makes me so happy that Spring is finally here, and that my very favorite month, May, can be enjoyed from my office window.

sol2I’m a bit old fashioned, my brother used to say that I was born old. I like the quiet. I like being alone. The world is with me now, we are all quiet. We are all alone. With my window open, a cup of warm tea in one hand and a joint in the other, I am able to take a break for a few minutes from the cleaning, cooking and the never-ending list of chores one has to do in a house full of humans and pets, and can think while breathing the fresh Spring air and listen to the birds. Most days I sit with the radio on, tuned into NPR, and allow the words of doom and gloom fill the space in my head. But when I light up that joint and hold my tea, it’s nature’s music  that helps me escape the feelings of dread about what is happening out there, in the world I can’t really see anymore.

I’ve been in and out of the outside world where my skills would be monetized and my purpose was tied to a job, but mostly out, for over twenty years. For a while I monetized my time by ending marriages. When that failed I tried to make it in politics. That didn’t work out so great either. It left me with feelings of failure and a humming sense that I had no purpose beyond mothering.

There was a time in my life when I thought feeling “joy” doing the mundane was impossible. But I now know we must feel hope and awe in the smallest moments in this big and unknowable world or we are doomed to miss life. I’ve been thinking that cannabis is making me less efficient because allowing myself to just sit and think goes against all notions of capitalistic efficiency. But like the children’s book Frederick teaches us, we need to observe to see and to create the stories that sustain us when we are unable to “work.”

Now when I take my window break I wonder if we will emerge into a new world that will be nicer to all humans and find a way to see everyone and we will understand our purpose is greater than a paycheck.



Joyce Gerber is an attorney, advocate and writer. She brings her exceptional organizational skills, patience and compassion to the emerging cannabis industry. She is the creator and host of The Canna Mom Show. When not advocating for cannabis normalization, Joyce is active with many community and civic organizations in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband, children, pets and several students from the Berklee School of Music. In her spare time she has managed a rock band, ran for a local political office, and likes to create beautiful quilts for friends and family. Joyce has degrees from Northeastern University, Tufts University and Connecticut College. When asked to describe his mom, her son Josh said, “she’s a force to be reckoned with.”