This morning I finished my last exam for the semester, which might explain why I haven’t had much time or head-space for writing recently.
But I have been thinking a lot about the jacaranda trees. Here in Brisbane, the blooming of jacarandas always heralds the arrival of end of year ends. This has been my first spring living in a suburb where Jacaranda trees frequent every street. On my walk to and from the bus station nearby I pass countless numbers of them, blooming bright purple and carpeting the footpath beneath.
There’s something magical about the purple fire of these trees, and I wasn’t surprised to find that so much poetry has been written about them. Here’s an excerpt from my favourite, The Jacaranda by Douglas Stewart.
There is some sweetness not to be seen in air,
Not to be trapped in rain, not to be found
In earth, that made this sky of blossoms flare
In blue and sparkling daylight out of the ground;
Some struggle of more than earth is in triumph here
In that gesture of joy and fulfilment lifted on high
Where, dancing with pale blue fire, the branches rear
And the dark twigs hold the sky up to the sky.
Touch the tree with your hand: it is only wood,
A pillar of rain and earth; and what will you find
But rain and earth in its flowers or curious blood?
Yet you cannot hold this tree in a hand of the mind.
Its roots in the earth where some blaze of midnight is lost,
Its boughs in the light wherein more than the stars is concealed,
The jacaranda flames on the air like a ghost,
Like a purer sky some door in the sky has revealed.
P.S. being 500 million years behind the latest trends, I have only just discovered Prisma, an amazing photo editing app that turns a photo into a work of art. The top picture of a jacaranda tree was made on Prisma, using the ‘Mosaic’ filter, using a photo of the jacaranda tree outside my bus station.