oh, magnolia!

Nothing calms me and stills my galloping thoughts like a day with camera in hand and the certainty of a long, meditative walk. An explosion of colour has unleashed itself in town this past week: buds have unfurled and trees are laden with blush pink magnolia blossoms, their sweet perfume floating in the air. There’s a house near mine whose owner invites me onto her porch every year at this time to share in the giddiness ignited by the shock of those pink blooms. So it wasn’t unusual to find her seated there this afternoon, a smile sweeping across her face as she spied me standing slack-jawed, staring at her tree from across the street. She waved me over and we stood on her porch overcome by the beauty so effortlessly displayed in a single bloom. She cares for her magnolia so tenderly, as thrilled by its decadence as she is by the look on the faces of all those who pass by. It wasn’t long before she confided that she ought to be occupied by work, but instead was giving herself over fully to sitting on her porch and breathing the fragrance of those pink blossoms dappled in sunlight. We went inside to see the paintings done by a couple of local artists: portraits of her magnolia, her luscious beauty. It was all I could do to nod and take in its spectacular presence, light at play on the canvases.

It’s interesting to me what gives people a rush. That certain something that fills us with euphoria and dulls the mundane or the pain. That process of transcendence from the ordinary to the blissful in mere seconds. That state of consciousness that allows us to inhabit an extraordinary vision for a fleeting but soulful time …