SPRING IN THE AIR

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”
Pablo Neruda
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“I love the smell of rain and growing things.”
― Serina Hernandez
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“And the birds sang their songs of love. And the flowers serenaded with their sublime fragrances. And the whole world fell in love in spring!”
― Avijeet Das

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”
A.A. Milne

“The world is exploding in emerald, sage, and lusty chartreuse – neon green with so much yellow in it. It is an explosive green that, if one could watch it moment by moment throughout the day, would grow in every dimension.”
Amy Seidl

2018-02-04 15.06.12“Spring is not a season; it is a mysterious illusionist who sets off fireworks in the depths of our soul!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

“Spring drew on…and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.”
Charlotte Brontë

THE SCENT OF ALMOND BLOSSOMS

The Almond tree is in full bloom by now, at least those in sheltered places are and it’s a delight to the eye and the senses, their scent being subtle and sweet. To see these blossoms to me is just wonderful as it is something totally exotic in my book and my imagination is heightened merely by the beauty of this happening.
Great writers and philosophers have been inspired by the blossoms of the Almond tree. Here is a quote by Nikos Kazantzakis, from his “Report to Greco”
“I said to the almond tree, ‘Sister, speak to me of God.’ And the almond tree blossomed.”

And from his ‘Saint Francis’: “When an almond tree became covered with blossoms in the heart of winter, all the trees around it began to jeer. ‘What vanity,’ they screamed, ‘what insolence! Just think, it believes it can bring spring in this way!’ The flowers of the almond tree blushed for shame. ‘Forgive me, my sisters,’ said the tree. ‘I swear I did not want to blossom, but suddenly I felt a warm springtime breeze in my heart.”
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The Almond blossom has inspired literary and artistic people through the ages it seems. Van Gogh painted it beautifully and often when he was in Southern France, for him they signified awakening and hope.

Almond blossoms have been used in legends in countries like Portugal, and in the bible there is mention of them too in several place.
The Almond tree was first cultivated in the Mediterranean about 3000BC. It is said native to Syria and Palestine. Almonds were carried on the trade routes by the Greeks, Egyptians and Romans.

According to Greek mythology the Queen of Thrace, Phyllis was turned into an Almond tree by the gods.
I will never forget myself the rapture when watching a movie called ‘Venus’ which made good use of Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture, at some point, during the performance of this opera the pilgrims chorus, which to me is the most beautiful part, the staff of a pilgrim starts to blossom, it was an Almond blossom, it was a stunning moment, never left me since.
According to the book: “Myths and Legends of Flowers, Fruits, Trees and Plants” by Charles M.Skinner, branches of the Almond tree are used to find hidden treasure.
Here is a link to the book, and there you can also read a summary of Wagner’s Tannhauser story and how the Almond branch figures in it.
https://archive.org/stream/mythslegendsoffl00skin#page/40/mode/2up

I was not really aware of the fact that to me also the Almond blossom has great significance, but it has, and to see the blossoms here on Gozo opening up over the last few weeks has delighted me beyond words.

 

LIVE IN SILENCE

“Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thought! Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence. Flow down and down in always widening rings of being.”
Rumi, The Essential Rumi
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BEAUTY OF SMALL CREATURES

“This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than it is useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used.”
Henry David Thoreau
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“There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.” John Calvin

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“It is interesting that Hindus, when they speak of the creation of the universe do not call it the work of God, they call it the play of God, the Vishnu lila, lila meaning play. And they look upon the whole manifestation of all the universes as a play, as a sport, as a kind of dance — lila perhaps being somewhat related to our word lilt” Alan W.Watts
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“Imagination is a very high sort of seeing, which does not come by study, but by the intellect being where and what it sees, by sharing the path, or circuits of things through forms, and so making them translucid to others.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind.”  Amit Ray
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“Beauty is the purest feeling of the soul. Beauty arises when soul is satisfied.” Amit Ray

THE MAGIC OF TOADSTOOLS

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 “The children of the forest live deep in the roots of an old pine tree. They collect wild mushrooms and blueberries and shelter under toadstools when it rains. They play with the squirrels and frogs, and when autumn comes, they collect and prepare food to see them through the long winter, until the warm spring breeze starts to blow” Elsa Beskow 

AND THE LINEAGE CONTINUES

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Just before the heavy rains started during the night, I harvested what was left of runner beans, and as they had gone too large and toff to eat, they are now drying to be used for next years growing season.  I am amazed by all the lovely colours, white when real small, pink when medium, and a lovely speckled lapis lazuli blue when large and ready to keep.

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“It always amazes me to look at the little, wrinkled brown seeds and think of the rainbows in ’em,” said Captain Jim. “When I ponder on them seeds I don’t find it nowise hard to believe that we’ve got souls that’ll live in other worlds. You couldn’t hardly believe there was life in them tiny things, some no bigger than grains of dust, let alone colour and scent, if you hadn’t seen the miracle, could you?”      L.M.Montgomery  (From Anne’s House of Dreams)

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“BEAUTY SURROUNDS US” RUMI

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“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” John Keats

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“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”  Osho

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