“When an almond tree became covered with blossoms in the heart of winter, all the trees around 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 blushed in 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.”
Nikos Kazantzakis, Saint Francis
Some things and images will always have a primitive symbolism; a reference to the collective unconsciousness. Almond tree in bloom, a symbol of heedlessness as well as hope, declares nature’s rebirth against winter’s coldness and haziness, like the love of Phyllis that prevailed the laws of nature.
According to Greek mythology, Theseus’ son Demophon arrived in Thrace after the Trojan war. There, he met the beautiful Thracian princess Phyllis and felt in love each other. But, he was obliged to leave for Athens. He swore to return for her in a month. Phyllis waited all this time, but after few months she died in disappointment. The Gods’ compassion changed her in a bare almond tree, in order to show her grief. When Demophon returned and learned what happened, found the tree with the dark branches and embraced it. Immediately the almond tree burst into leaf and was covered with blossoms, declaring in this way Phyllis’ invincible love.
I was taking photos of a beautiful almond tree near our house with my little son, thinking why every year we feel the urge to photograph the same flowers and trees in bloom again and again and never feel a trace of boredom, when a couple of elders approached us with curiosity and surprise. It was strange for them one to stand there just to take photos of a tree. After talking with us for a while, the woman raised her hand, cut a small branch with three flowers and gave it to my son. After all, why to photograph a tree in bloom when you can embrace it and hold it in your hands?
Have a beautiful new week… xoxo!!!