So very reliant on the technology of the photograph and the web, this blog has relied much on imagery to communicate, but after six weeks of faltering technology, I could be accused instead for being at such a loss for using basic imagination in the most simple of ways. What happened to my using just the word alone for the sheer pleasure of the moment? As much as I enjoy taking photos and having my world enhanced especially by my regular walking, I had forgotten about the very essence of Summer which it provides our other senses – fragrance and the pleasure of green leafiness.
Once March’s equinox brings back light into the world, Hope filters through a noticabley bluer skys along with yellow daffodils. April’s profusion of sweet white apple and fluffy pink cherry blossoms then quickly follow and so does their inevitable brevity. Such a delicate nature supplies them with only a short endurance of elemental events, thus they simply cascade into confetti and dissolve. It never seems like it should be a happy ending, almost wasteful of youthful beauty, but we marvel. However, May’s statement is a bold one.
From back in the Autumn, where the planting of seeds and the shedding of leaves is Nature’s “energy investment”, this would now be recouped and delivered through May’s “energy processing”, the verdant early Summer.
The month does bring great beginnings. With generosity of colour, leafy abundance, May symbolises life’s contentment, a little relaxation, the rewards of hard work invested over half a year ago. After waiting patiently, our giant stems can finally divulge their leafy greenery, not one minute too soon, nor too late, because in the bid to conserve water, they would would lose the plot, if in vanity and competition, too much green leaf sprouted too early – for then there would be no forward fruiting which could occur later on.
Walking home yesterday, in my little world, I was reminded that one of my very first posts last year, “Unbottled”, had been inspired through a walk in the rain last year. A shower with an unexpected burst of warm May sunshine, opened the release a vanilla rose fragrance in a microcosm of humidity. That mix was indeed hypnotic. Since then, with several journeys to and fro, I have watched that rose bush change, and yesterday I looked out for it with a different deliberation.
May has meaning because it is also the month of my grandmother’s birthday. Last year these roses had a 111th birthday anniversary party for her, and so now approaching 112, what might this year’s petals hold to her memory? Just aged 12 in 1915, the world would have been a very different place to watch the roses grow.
In May 2015, these roses belong to a simple, old fashioned variety. We call them “dog-roses” in the UK. They have the simplest of all rose flowers. Yesterday, several white blossoms were spread open, about 10cm diameter, but on just one flower, the edges of each of its 6 petals was tipped with a blushing pink, as if an artist and a paintbrush had just flown by and touched each one. I so very much wanted my camera, but alas it was not operational and so not to be.
Towards the edge of the railings, was another open rose, no pink tips, but its distinct yellow creaminess attracted me as a contrast to the white blooms, and then its smell, a peach like aroma. Peaches and cream is always a favourite dessert. And then I finally got it – with or without my camera, I could of course communicate plenty of other sensations for those reading this blog; the power of fragrance being so very obvious that I hadn’t even considered it when I “lost my vision”. How could I not have realised that was the purpose of May. Instantaneously, my world had opened up and in front of me, my journey had changed. For the rest of my 25 minute walk home, I suddenly became reminded of how my observations and experiences of Spring’s flowers could be passed on even without any camera working.
My first floral scent of the season was from a few weeks ago. Lilacs, the pale old fashioned mauvey pink and deeper purple had begun to open. Their sturdy flower holds a heavy scent imbued with a particular quality of old fashioned Englishness, but of course I might say that. To savour such a memory, under the mighty perfumeur “big nose” Frederick Malle, across the water in France, a few years ago, Olivia Giacobetti composed “En Passant” , a charming fragrance reminscent of a Springtime walk with lilacs. For those across the web, the bottle variety is soft, but lilac is a worthy experience from the tree or from this special bottle. (And let’s be diplomatic and call this a modern European perfume)
Further along my path, about 8 minutes in real time from the rosebush, my newly enlightened Spring journey took me a giant pink clematis awaiting attention with dimensions and a form which I had never noticed before. This clematis was not simply a climber against a fence or wall, but a tree whose clambering branches had found various ways to lever themselves over and above each other, creating phenomenal curves of pink blossomy colour within the branches of their own method of organised chaos. This tree was a rambling hillside of pink star like flowers, but how might such a hillside grace the exotic climes of the mountain ranges in the Orient, its original home? I would like to see that pink starflower hillside under a scarlet red setting sun.
So after being awakened to wonder on the way home, what would the first cave painters have thought about my photography dilemma? I do have a gallery of pictures to show from through April and May which I was unable to download, and because I can’t bear it any longer, my camera goes to hospital tomorrow morning at 10am for a week, but I now know I have to truly rely on my own hi-tech – my nose and mind.