jolie laide: Spring!

jolie laide

I started this when I lived in Brooklyn and struggled for grace in a city that grants moments of beauty and ugliness breathtakingly close to one another. Now I live in a place where things are a different kind of ugly and the beauty is pedestrian. I struggle with that.



It seems like this week, suddenly, it is truly spring. The callary pear trees are blooming everywhere. They have tiny white flowers and are beloved by the city’s urban planners because the branches grow up in a graceful oval shape, without spreading or drooping. Of course, they only last about 20 years, before the weight of all the upward growth splits their trunks in half, but until then, there are years of dizzying swirls of their petals when the wind blows, drifts of snowy blooms in puddles after a rain.

There are trees that make me swoon. Transport me, transfix me, make my eyes go wide with delight. I tend to like the under-canopy trees, the ones who have to grab their attention before the bigger trees leaf out and cut out their sun. Those strivers burst forth early, risking the blight of a late frost to get their early glory. A redbud and oh, a dogwood, will make me stop dead in my tracks. And, for some reason, a weeping cherry is simply magic. I saw one around the corner from me on Friday, a huge old tree, to the tops of the surrounding brownstones, four stories tall. It was sending cascades of flowering branches from its very top all the way to the ground, a wild tumbling rush of pink blossoms that had me clinging to the chain link fence, craning for its loveliness.


Blogger Dr. S said...

I think that these pear trees are what I saw blooming at midnight as I waited at an airport stoplight.

2:13 AM  
Blogger ttractor said...

Blooming at midnight, how evocative.

The old/little house has fleece vines growing thickly up the back fence, they trail cones of similar flowers. In a late summer night they still glow, but a poor match to the fireflies threading through on their nocturnal missions.

10:33 AM  

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