As I walked with friends Saturday I was struck by how beautiful the trees are at this time of year. And all this despite the fact that I get early hay fever with an allergy to trees. The sky was perfectly blue and the spidery outlines of the trees made me want to draw them. I wish I could draw. I once went to a class called ‘Anyone can draw’ and proved it wrong. My best friend was a rubber. The teacher was Californian with the laid-back approach that this suggests. But he did prefer to spend time with those who could already draw, like my daughter. We went outside and drew a tree. I threw mine away and kept Alex’s.
Cherry blossom trees might be good to draw. You could use the soft side of the pencil to smudge for the blossom. The trees that line our road are so pink they look artificial. It reminds me of when I was a child and used to collect the blossom in baskets. It was a pointless activity as it dies almost instantly. Then there are the camellias. They flaunt their beauty but you have to admire them when the sun shines as they lose their petals with wind and rain. Finally hydrangeas, my Mothers Day gift this year. My favourite shades of mauve and blue. Being able to notice all these beautiful things is a recent thing. It makes me grateful to have more time.
‘Are we to look at the cherry blossoms only in full bloom, the moon only when it is cloudless? To long for the moon when looking on the rain, to lower the blinds and be unaware of the passing of Spring – these are even more deeply moving. Branches about to blossom or gardens strewn with flowers are worthier of our admiration’. Yoshida Kenko
In praise of … Blossom
The Guardian today reminded me of the playwright, Dennis Potter’s interview with Melvyn Bragg, in 2004 as he was dying. Seated near a window he described the blossom as ‘the elitist, frothiest, blossomist blossom that there could ever be… The nowness of everything is absolutely wondrous… There’s no way of telling you; you have to experience it…’