With each season I think “this is my favorite season.” Right now, my favorite season is spring. Everything is fresh and bright and cheery: red, yellow, and violet tulips; sunny daffodils; purple hyacinth. And blooming trees.
Where I grew up, on the coast of Georgia, seasons were subtle. There were changes in temperatures, some trees lost leaves (though I can’t recall which ones), and in spring, azaleas bloomed. We were surrounded by live oaks, pine trees, and palm trees, which all remain green through winter, and which do not flower in spring.
I can’t tell you how much it still amazes me, after living 10+ years in Maryland, Minnesota, and Virginia — all places that burst into bloom in spring — that entire trees blossom. Where I’m from, bushes bloom, roses bloom, lilies bloom. Ground plants. Small plants. Annuals. But trees? No. Trees don’t bloom.
In Blacksburg right now, and in fact right out my window as I type this, we have 30-foot pear trees covered in white blossoms, 15-foot redbuds popping with tiny magenta buds, 20-foot dogwoods with their smattering of greenish yellow petals. In our neigborhood there is a 40-foot tree whose entire crown is dark pink with blossoms. I expect large trees to change color in fall, but in spring? Everywhere around here are cherry trees covered in delicate pale pink flowers.
I just can’t get over it. It is wondrous to me, that plants as large as 20, 30, 40-foot trees can burst into bloom. I expect flowers from small plants, but it still surprises me that I can go anywhere around here and see flowers on hardwood trees. And they occur naturally, in the woods — they are not just ornamentals in gardens.
Though I know it is basic biology — angiosperms reproduce via flowers — these flowering trees make me feel, every day, like I am witness to a miracle.
If you, too, love blossoms, I discovered yesterday that a colleague’s wife is a botanical artist: her medium is flowers. 😍. Her work made me feel the same way flowering trees do, like I was witness to a miracle. She’s amazing. Check out flora.forager on Instagram. You will be so happy you did.
For the month of April, I will publish a 10-minute free write each day. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. Trying to get back into the writing habit.