This morning, I had a passionate affair with my Jacaranda tree. Different, I know…especially as I’m not usually one of those tree-hugging types. However, being Spring, all that pollen must’ve gone to my head.
Our Jacaranda tree has exploded into a luscious canopy of mauve flowers. It really is sensational. You can also see quite a few patches of mauve around town, which is rather uplifting when I’m driving around in Mum’s Taxi. For a crazy photographer like me, this is like spotting candy beside the road. Yahoo!
Of course, if you know anything about Jacaranda trees, their beauty isn’t confined to the sky either. There’s also a pretty mauve carpet all over the grass. Indeed, as we “speak”, there are even a few stray flowers scattered all over my sleeping dogs.
After all, when it comes to dropping flowers and leaves, the Jacaranda tree is incredibly generous.
Anyway, this morning when I went outside to photograph the sunflower seedlings, I detoured via the Jacaranda Tree. I started roaming underneath the branches looking for an angle, a perspective with my eagle eye. This was a bit tricky as my neck was quite stiff and I really had to crank it up. After a few minutes, I decided to put together a range of perspectives. I love interpreting things from different angles and seeing them through fresh eyes. AND… these fluttering purple flowers, really were dazzling, awakening my senses and my soul.
While photographing a tree in your own backyard can feel rather hum drum, it is convenient. Besides, the funny thing is that while I might find my backyard boring, it could well be paradise to someone living on the other side of the world. That being the case, I’d much rather invite you over than the neighbours, who’ll just notice my junk.
Anyway, as soon as I point my camera at the tree, I’ve been transformed. There’s that very real sense of being sucked inside my lens. That I’m concentrating absolutely all my being and focus onto those flowers. Of course, I could call them “the subject”, but I’m not writing a university essay. Rather, I’m sharing a passion which goes beyond definitions, boundaries or even words. It’s this sense of being so consumed by what I’m seeing, that I’ve become one with it. Our boundaries have merged.
It’s a beautiful thing.
After taking the photos, I returned to my desk to download the images. By the way, my desk would look right out onto the garden if the blinds weren’t down. I know that sounds like a waste but even though it’s only Spring, the sun’s intense.
So, while I was sitting there feasting on images, I could sense a strange scratching on the back of my head. It was very much like one of my dogs scratching on the back door. No, it wasn’t nits. It was finally the muse. While I should be quite attuned to this after many years of writing poetry and turning myself inside-out through verse, I was surprised. It’s been awhile since I’ve written a poem and to be perfectly honest, I was trying to squeeze in a nap. However, as I’m sure you know yourselves, the muse doesn’t care whether you’re ready or not. She simply turns up on a whim and you have to jump or she’ll pass your spark onto someone else. The muse can be a heartless sod.
So, of course, the muse won out!
This poem is about peering through my long zoom lens trying to get a close-up of the jacaranda flowers while they’re moving in the wind. In case you haven’t used a “real” camera, long lenses do not like movement, unless of course you’re going for the blurry look. To be honest, trying to photograph these flowers, reminded me of trying to photograph kids. They can be impossible! Anyway, the poem developed its own twists and turns from there, taking on a life of its own…as it usually does.
Anyway, here’s the poem:
Blurred through the lens,
purple skirts fluttering in the breeze,
the jacaranda flowers giggle like little girls,
caught up in their sequined twirls.
Eyes to me!
Look at the camera!
Yet, they won’t listen.
My pleas are falling flat
on deaf ears.
Oblivious to the lens,
they’re entranced by
the Spirit of Dance.
She moves among them
without a sound,
shaking their shackles free.
they take flight,
finally pirouetting out of sight,
leaving their seeds behind.
I wonder where they will sleep tonight…
these dazzling purple butterflies
fluttering in the sunlight
taking my heart.
All too soon,
the seeds scatter away from the tree,
falling deep into the starving Earth.
Almost on auto-pilot,
they raise their arms through the soil,
no longer seeds but trees.
They’re growing strong.
Standing firm against the wind.
Fresh flowers fall from their limbs
year after year,
as the cycle of life goes on.
It’s hard to believe
these trees ever danced free,
flying along on the fragrant winds,
now that they’ve been firmly planted.
Indeed, you could probably say
the same of me.
Yet, I was also once a girl.
A girl twirling in her ballet skirt
learning to dance,
soaring on the brink of flight.
Rowena Curtin 7th November, 2016
Do you have a favourite tree in your garden? I’d love to hear about it.
PS I’m still wishing I could find Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree and climb to the very top and disappear for a bit. Wouldn‘t it be great?!!