Friday, April 11, 2014

How Spring And the Redbud Changed My Life

Even though the bird's nest looks abandoned during winter's cold there are signs of life and the hope of the birds returning! How I appreciate nature and it's ability to shake the cobwebs of winter out of our thinking and start us on a new path! 

Red maple seed pods

The Redbud tree is one of the first to show off it's stunning pink flowers, it is life changing - I'm a visual person and beauty affects me, if something is beautiful sometimes it makes me cry. I stare at the tree in bloom in breathless awe not having seen such bright color for eight months. 

The color is nothing less than spectacular, ranging between a purple and a bright pink setting off the dull brown tree trunks  and undergrowth just beginning to transition from winter's lifelessness to the lush bright greens of springtime.

The shock of color sets off the woods like a precious magenta jewel, seeming to give off an aura of brightness in it's woodsy realm.

It is native to the eastern United States and grows as far as Ontario Canada and spreading west to Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.  It only grows to 30 feet and has round heart shaped leaves.  

It is part of my heritage and has been here since before the Colonials and Indians giving a feeling of continuity, revealing a hint of the past of what things may have looked like in a primaeval state.

The trees give sustenance, the flowers, buds and pods can be sauted, the buds pickled.  The fresh flowers can also be added to salads.  In southern parts of Appalachia the green branches are used to season wild game and is known as the spice tree.  

I like discovering folkways and I am beginning to understand that the woods are full of new tastes and delights yet to be experienced. I am curious now and want to try a small handful of blossoms on my next excursion.

The Redbud flower arrives early and takes us out of the winter dole drums, regrets of the winter enjoyments and parties now past with a beautiful jolt of sprays of pink branches stretching out, foreshadowing the summer season to come.  

Just when you were counting the months until Christmas wishing for that jolly season the Redbud gets our attention and makes us take notice, giving us exciting thoughts, triggering our memory of past summer fun; a trip to the beach and other good times. 

The beauty of the flowers of the Redbud keeps coming back to me I can't shake it and starts me dreaming about new warm weather adventures.  On with the new and what lies ahead I now affirm.   How I love and appreciate the Redbud tree!

Suzanne Powers Art Gallery: