A Flowering Trees Story

Nobody is ever going to mistake me for a botanist, that’s for damn sure. By which I mean that I don’t know shit, basically, when it comes to plants. Yeah, I can identify a few trees and flowers. And I might exclaim “hey, there’s a fern!” when I see one. Beyond that, however, please don’t press me.

Nonetheless, I enjoy spending time outdoors among flora. Who doesn’t? We all want our minds to be expanded, if not blown, you see, even if we know it only subconsciously. And what better way to allow this to happen than to initiate close contact with Nature’s fibrous wonders, absorbing their good vibes?

With that in mind, on the morning of April 27th I eased my aged ass from the living room sofa, hopped, more or less, into my car, and drove to a pretty neighborhood in a nearby town. Specific sorts of flora — flowering trees — not only were on my mind, they were the reason for my mini-expedition.

I’m not sure why, but I didn’t pay much attention to flowering trees until fairly recent years. A big oversight on my part. Since then, though, I’ve made it a point to check them out in April and May, which is when they do their unfurling thing in my part of the globe (I live in Pennsylvania, USA). Their blossomy performance is, of course, a winner. What’s not to like about shades of, primarily, pink, purple and white? Those hues sure liven up the green-dominated landscape around here this time of year.

What’s more, knowing that the performance doesn’t last forever imbues it with poignancy. Poof! — before you know it the petals are gone. Until a new production is staged the following year.

Well, I wandered through the neighborhood for an hour, gazing at the flowers on magnolia, cherry, dogwood and other trees. They looked good. After 30 minutes, though, I found myself disappointed by the relatively modest numbers of those trees. At least half of the properties I passed that day contained none at all, in fact. Man, how cool would it have been if I’d seen 10 or 20 times as many? Very. The blossom experience then would have overwhelmed and enveloped, like an ecstatic fireworks display.

And so, with intensification as my goal, over the next half hour I got much nearer to the flowers than I had previously during the walk, within inches in most instances and nose-to-nose twice. The strategy worked. From those vantages the blossoms made a hell of an impression, intricately designed and decidedly gorgeous as they were. And they instantly became my friends, wanting only to please. “Hello, Neil,” they whispered, “thanks for visiting. We’re at your service.”

“You’re the best,” I whispered back.

“But don’t linger, old timer,” they added. “You won’t be a happy sightseer if someone storms out of their house, yelling at you to get the f*ck off their property.”

True! Thus, I kept my up-close-and-personal sessions short. Thank you, blossoms, for having my back.

Sitting at my computer keyboard now, a number of days after the events described above, I’m wondering what came over me halfway through the stroll, as I’d never felt let down before by any aspect of springtime. Maybe the rotten state of affairs in the world — Russia rearing its ugly head; the growth of fascism in many nations, including my own — was wearing on me, putting me in need of big jolts of beauty. In any event, I’m back to my normal self. Grumpy, as usual, but appreciative too.

Let’s close the proceedings with a tune that, title-wise, is a perfect match for this essay. I discovered it a couple of days after my close encounters with flowering trees. Ordinarily I’m not a big fan of bouncy songs. But the more I listen to Cherry Blossom, by pop and country star Kacey Musgraves, the more I like it. Beneath the sugar and gloss it has a strong layer of soul. Likening herself to a cherry blossom, Kacey hopes and prays that her relationship with her new boyfriend, whom she’s mad about, will hold, that the wind won’t blow her away. I’m pulling for her.

142 thoughts on “A Flowering Trees Story

  1. slfinnell May 18, 2022 / 2:56 pm

    Big fans of Kacey and we’re glad we saw her perform once with Katy Perry and again on her own. My fave, Family is Family lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 18, 2022 / 4:57 pm

      Hi. Thanks for adding your thoughts. I’m pretty sure that Kacey started out as a country music artist. But I guess she has added other musical styles to her repertoire since then.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Americaoncoffee May 19, 2022 / 4:34 am

    I love your sensitivity Neil. It is so attractive that even nature yields to you. I love big trees and find myself on an intense spiritual realm whenever I am amongst them.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. theburningheart May 19, 2022 / 3:20 pm

    In my youth when I lived with my parents, I was very lucky to live in houses with a great inner big yards, these were old houses, not made anymore, but luckily today by law you cannot destroy, and build something new. On them there were many trees, and flowers, they were a delight to be on them, both my Grandmothers had them also, and I visit many friends with them, unthinkable, today if you are not very wealthy, since I left home I have lived on minimalist apartments, all around, on big cities with little going for them except convenience of having a place where to live, and sleep during the night, and do long commutes to work.
    However now retired I live in a two bedroom house, pretty big for myself, unfortunately has a small cemented narrow back yard, and a front also a cement yard that serves as a garage. I guess I will put some flower pots to enliven the place, but it will be a far cry from my old days as a child, and a young man, I always will miss those days. 🤷‍♂️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 19, 2022 / 7:27 pm

      The houses you lived in with your parents sound wonderful. Like you say, houses such as those are not common anymore. You were lucky to be surrounded by trees and flowers!

      Liked by 1 person

      • theburningheart May 20, 2022 / 1:50 pm

        I certainly was, and treasure those memories.
        Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. composerinthegarden May 19, 2022 / 9:36 pm

    I love the image of you getting up close and personal to those flowering trees, Neil – enjoying one of the best gifts of spring! And I agree, the world would be much better if there were more of them in everyone’s yard – even one can make a difference to us as well as the birds.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 20, 2022 / 6:52 am

      Hi. The petals have been falling off the flowering trees in my area for the last week or so. It’s kind of sad!

      Like

  5. tanjabrittonwriter May 20, 2022 / 7:57 am

    I think you are right, Neil–the blossom’s ephemeral beauty makes them all the more special.

    I can also relate to your moment of sadness. Even though I take refuge and find comfort in nature and enjoy its loveliness and serenity, I’m sometimes overcome with melancholy when contrasting the surrounding beauty to the state of the human-made world.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 20, 2022 / 11:22 am

      I know what you mean. I’d have to say, though, that there isn’t much serenity in the animal world, where it’s mostly dog eat dog. But the realm of plant life is outstanding.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tanjabrittonwriter May 20, 2022 / 7:27 pm

        You are right, of course. There are aspects of nature that aren’t pleasant, and I struggle with those.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. emmblu May 28, 2022 / 7:26 am

    Beauty in whatever shape or form never ceases to refresh the soul. When I lived in LA, beautiful jacaranda trees with their showy canopy of purple flowers always took my breath away. Here in the Philippines, I am surrounded by bougainvillas, plumerias and hibiscus. How lucky can one get 🌺🌻🥀

    Liked by 2 people

  7. D. Wallace Peach May 28, 2022 / 1:15 pm

    “The flowering trees have your back.” I loved that, Neil. They always do, don’t they? The whole of Mother Earth has our backs if we let her. I’m with you on the beauty of a flowering planet. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Lisa at Micro of the Macro June 4, 2022 / 1:08 pm

    Your posts always make me chuckle, Neil! Love these photos, and like you, I find that putting my nose up to vibrant blooms is necessary. I’ve never been yelled at, but I’ve gotten strange looks and a funny comment as a result! Agreed, more trees would be a very good thing – everywhere. 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

  9. loristory June 6, 2022 / 8:03 pm

    I live in Rochester, NY, a.k.a. Flower City and also a.k.a. Lilac City. Each year in May, we have a Lilac festival in Highland Park, which was designed by Frederick Olmstead. A walk through Highland Park in mid-May is heavenly, and we’ll worth the trip. Not only are there lilacs of every possible purple, pink, and white hue and fragrance, but there’s also a profusion of azaleas, magnolias, and other flora as well. (I’m no botanist, either.) If you visit this summer, you can enjoy our famous Jazz Festival and go to the zoo and see our newborn giraffe, Olmstead. Happy spring!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. alisendopf June 10, 2022 / 10:18 pm

    Fleeting blossoms, but I’m sure they appreciated your appreciation while they put on the show of their lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Silver Screenings June 19, 2022 / 5:27 pm

    It’s funny you should mention the lack of blossoms this year. I was thinking that the other day – the cherry tree in our back yard had less than half the blossoms than it did last year, and they didn’t last very long. Same thing with our neighbour’s apple tree.

    However, like you pointed out, we’ll take what we can get. Spring is always marvellous, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 19, 2022 / 10:43 pm

      Hi, Ruth. Spring is great. I like autumn better though. The changing colors of the leaves in autumn knocks me out.

      Liked by 1 person

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