February 26, 2015

A Semblance of Spring in the Air

The winter is nearing its conclusion over here - and I can smell a semblance of spring in the air. However, I can't help but think about spring in a city in a country thousands of miles away though. At the moment, it is probably bone-white and a punch-in-the-solar-plexus cold and unrelentingly blank there; yet, there are also stubbornly budding trees, determined to fruit and flower in spite of the cold and ice. Isn't it the season of magnolias? Have the cherry blossoms emerged yet? I suddenly experience a strong, almost unbearable nostalgia, imagining standing on my Pittsburgh apartment balcony and witnessing the dead landscape gradually being resurrected in the months to come.


However, this much I acknowledge: nature offer its gifts wherever you go. There will be new trees and flowers to encounter over here too. In the meantime, I see paint daubs of orange and red everywhere, even in cloth bundles unspooling on the ground. Bright orange flowers erupt like fishes shimmying in and out of a choppy green sea.


Red in Death

Fat, flamboyant, maximalist orange flowers illuminate an otherwise austere tree; nudged on by the dusk breeze, they gently fall, descend and lie upon the ground, turning blood-red as they decay. I must find out their name, I really must. From my study window, I can see nests sharing branch-space with fat chocolate brown seed pods on the tree growing outside. I collect fallen leaves, flowers and seed-pods; I photograph them, I make whimsical little arrangements out of them and leave for passerby's to discover.

Suspended, in hope

Wherever I have lived, whichever place I have called home, there has been a tree growing outside my window; its branches, whether leaf-laden or not, have represented an embrace, that of hope and succor.
A few days ago, while walking past a fledgling tree in my neighborhood park, I noticed something hanging from its branch; I went closer towards it and realised the object was a tiny glass square wrapped multiple times in green spring and in turn suspended from the branch. What was it? Who had put it there? I mused that it resembled a protective amulet and it was then I noticed that the string's green mirrored that of the buds gently emerging from the tree's branches. 

If nature could provide gifts to us, perhaps someone had in turn had presented a gift to the tree. That gesture made me smile, filled with a feeling of well-ness for the invisible humanity and their affectionate gestures.

Spring is indeed on its way.

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