Monday, May 07, 2007

The Secret Life of Plants?

I took a few photos at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and its surroundings this weekend, where the cherry trees were still blooming, but it was much less crowded than during the Sakura Matsuri. The turtles and koi in the Japanese Tea Garden are especially brazen this time of year.

I was also surprised and thrilled to see that the lilacs were blooming. I get an almost primal thrill whenever I see and smell them. They always make me a bit weepy, too - and not just because they tweak my allergies. Besides being my favourites, they've always been my mother's too, so they remind me of being a small child and gathering them for her. I was a complete mama's girl, and even more so after she moved out when I was five or six. Any little thing we could share was extremely important to me, so along with my delight in the colours and sweet scent of these flowers, there's a bittersweet tang of longing associated with them.

The only other bit of flora guaranteed to make me cry are redwoods and sequoias. Mrs. Nator will tell you that I spent a good portion of our last trip to Muir Woods crying over them, partly because people have killed so many, and partly due to their overwhelming presence. Something about the age and magnificence of them touches me. Like when I am close to elephants, I feel a deep energy of life and wisdom coming thrumming from them. In the case of elephants, it could be that I am feeling the low-frequency and seismic noises they make to communicate. But, if that is so, what am I feeling from the trees?

8 comments:

Kenyo said...

Those green things in the top picture are certainly a gaggle of the long-missing Loch Greenpernt Monsters. Last seen hanging out, and singing doo-wop, on a corner in Carnarsie.

Tater said...

What a beautiful post. Lilacs do the same thing to me, they are the scent of my youth, and of my mother's table. Lavender is another. Nice pictures to, by the way. It's amazing what living things can say to you if your are quiet enough to listen. Thanks for the reminder.

Red7Eric said...

Plants are a life-form, so who's to say ... ?

Sorry about your allergies. I'm not terribly allergic and cannot imagine the infuriating inconvenience of not being able to breathe -- argh, it makes me cranky just trying to imagine it.

oneofhismoms said...

HEY! We were there on Sunday! Cakie didn't notice the cherry blossoms until I picked him up and showed him.
He lifted his face up to the pink petals and said, "Lilac!"

I pert near died. Sorry we didn't see you there.

First Nations said...

each huge tree is pulling a constant river of water up throughout its structure and exhaling it as vapour and oxygen. as you stand beneath it you are participating in an elemental relationship with every breath you take and every exhalation of carbon dioxide you give back. these huge trees are the pillars of life on this planet. their life feels like a single, immediate note of music, a constant selfless rejoicing.

the way you get about animals, i get about plants.

Heather said...

Great post! Hey, you and the Mrs. should come up for our Lilac Festival - it starts this weekend and runs through next week. Beyond the 1200 lilacs, there are loads of other trees and plants to wander amongst, along with arts and crafts, music and delicious food. (Artichokes French, Garbage Plates, also the first place I ever ate a deep-fried Oreo....)

Our guest room's open if you decide on a weekend trip! :)

BigAssBelle said...

we are alredy on to lilies and such, our lilacs long gone.

trees. i get choked up just thinking about them. what the hell is that?

claire said...

ooh.. what FN said.

We were there last year for the festival which was just packed with people. We escaped to the lilac hill where there were far less people and i wanted to sit there with the lilacs forever. The smell is intoxicating...

Go hug a tree. I do... to other people's embarrassment.