February 28, 2011
There was sun before the rain, yesterday. For a moment I thought the rain would sweep me away. Then came the night. This morning it was bitterly cold. A cherry tree blushed into bloom. I think spring is to come, and hope is in bud. I breathe on it at times, to keep it warm. I’m waiting. Waiting still.
January 8, 2011
Image by Anders Adermark.
The task was simple enough. She was to find the perfect flower.
It was to be white, and sweet-smelling. But it also had to be not far removed from bud, and with double petals.
It seemed simple enough.
With those directions the green riding hood set out, young, but not little — and dressed in green because red did not become her at all. It may have been beige too, but the colours of her attire are of no consequence to her story.
The green riding hood had not ventured far before she found a flower. But red, and in full bloom, it was far from perfect.
One with double petals was blue.
A sweet-smelling one was not white.
One was in bud, but covered with thorns and not perfect at all.
Indeed, the entire forest, it seemed, was abloom, although none of the floral faces was perfect. The perfect ones seemed hard, if not impossible, to find. Still, she had her task, and it was to be fulfilled. So she ventured further, unwilling to admit defeat.
All of a sudden a sweet scent reached her through the warm mid-summer air, and she followed it to its source. It proved white, but although fine, it was not perfect.
Though white and endowed with a sweet scent, the flower had a single row of petals, and was withering, far removed from bud.
The green riding hood looked at it, sighing, wondering: Why could it not be perfect? Why had it to be merely fine?
Had it not been for a persistent voice in her head, whispering: “Beyond, beyond, beyond!” she might had settled with a flower that was merely fine, but as it was, she continued her search, leving the mere fineness beyond.
As so often happens to young women searching for flowers in the woods, the green riding hood eventually stumbled upon the same, merely fine, flower anew.
She sat down by its side, brushing against the blossom itself, wondering why the fine, but not perfect, flower could not be endowed with a double row of petals, and be nearer to bud. Indeed, after this long an excursion, she would have settled with a sole row of petals, but the flower being withered was what rendered what otherwise would have been perfect, merely fine.
Despite there was a voice still in her head telling her to move beyond, beyond, beyond! she could not leave the flower. It was fine — better than any she had found thus far — but is was not perfect. Never the less, she remained by it, waiting for the solar cycle to encourage the flower to turn away from her; for she could not be removed on her own accord.
It seemed strange, she thought, that something that was fine and perfectly acceptable could not be perfect. The voice and its “Beyond!” reminded her thusly, although she herself doubted — as much as she feared — there was any flower more perfect to be found.
The flower before her was sweet-smelling and white; what if all the other flowers were equally fine, and there were no perfect flowers to be found? What if the ones with double petals were red, and the ones still in bud would bloom with the most horrendous of scents? What if the white, sweet-smelling bloom before her was indeed perfect, only that her doubts failed for her to realise and conclude that indeed was so?
As the day passed and the flower followed the sun’s path with its floral face, the green riding hood sat by its side, unable to leave it, waiting for it to turn away on its own accord.
June 13, 2010
One morning in late May I caught the first train to the rural outskirts of London and was rewarded with the most beautiful of springtime sights.
It did not take me long to wander downhill from the station and through the old town that resides in the valley beneath the modern settlement. Before the first half an hour had passed I could overlook the western part of the town of the hilltop which I had climbed.
Having cleared the town and its outskirts, I found myself passing through the barrier that separated the urban and the rural countryside: a charming gate blushing with rust.
The first field put me in a feeling of sheer delight, the rolling slopes encouraging me to believe I was one with the sky as the wind played with my long skirt. Eventually, I reached a dust road that promised to carry me as far as I wished.
My springtime walk took place late in May, and I found the first generation of dandelions had allowed their sparkling gold to fade to the hue of cotton-like copper I so adore.
I shall always with fondness remember my first visit to a forest whose atmosphere was adorned with the sweet, perfumed scent of bluebell hyacinths.
Although I had walked for almost five consecutive hours, it was still bitter-sweet to know I had reached my final destination and my springtime walk had come to an end. Never the less, my first introduction to the British countryside did nothing but cement my affection and enamour me yet more.
[This post features pictures taken during the walk detailed in Weightless Adventures.]
Thank you Vil for helping upload these pictures when my Internet connection laughed at me!
April 18, 2009
In previous years I have always claimed the windflower to be my favourite flower due to its fairness and elegance. Its appearance on the forest’s leaf-covered floor is a true sign of spring, and as the flowers grow tall and and plentiful during the last weeks of April the atmosphere is adorned with a green scent I very much believe to be the smell of spring itself.
In the Anemone nemorosa six petals the colour of purity and innocence surround a centre composed of a cloud of golden suitors swirling around modest green maidens in a frozen dance of courtship. It is a scene which I can spend a long time studying, simply because there is such beauty in the petite; one’s reward for leaning in to take a closer look.
This spring I believe my fondness to have found another — equally worthy — flower by which to be enamoured; the Hepatica nobilis.
The Hepatica is as elegant as its distant cousin the Anemone, however a flower more modest and well-mannered. While the windflowers cover the entire forest floor to form a lush carpet upon which the sun shines, the liverwort takes care to preserve its reputation by growing in clusters farther apart, making a tête-à-tête with it an experience much more intimate and pleasurable. So whilst the anemone attempts to with their numbers prove something to the rest of the world, the Hepatica is certain of itself and grows only where calmness is more abundant.
As the liverwort knows itself well and conjures its elegance from such knowledge, it also dares to differ. Whilst the windflowers only dare to shine as brightly white as they always have — some finding even such an anonymous appearance too much and allow their petals to blush pink — the Hepatica understands how to be unique and not two of their plants have flowers the same colour; the petals in a single grove often shifting from the deepest of velvet blues to the brightest of scarlet pinks. Every once in a while — does one only care to see to the small — one comes across a Hepatica vastly different from all else, their petals light-blue, light-pink, or even sparkling white.
The Hepatica is the most noble of the spring flowers with its bright white and lustrous gold that adorn the centre of a midnight blue rosette. Upon closer inspection it is revealed that the pale and fair suitors are bowing to honour the golden maidens in the centre, as if their modesty was paid every respect in the world.
The foremost proof of the liverwort’s nobility is however its colour, as it is as blue in petal as royalty is in blood. And indeed, this has been recognised by botanists of ages past, for is there any other reason for why its medicinal name has been gilded with the sophisticated ring of nobilis?