Thursday, May 26, 2005

Flowers of Fear

Went for a walk this afternoon and the bees drew my attention again. The air was full of the buzz and hum of them--it was like being near a busy thoroughfare. One place where they were particularly loud was a magnificent broom bush.
broom bush
Originally uploaded by the view from in here.

I stopped and listened for a while to the bees buzzing and whizzing around. The blossoms were thick, profuse.

broom flowers
Originally uploaded by the view from in here.

I began to get an uneasy feeling. I looked around more. The arbutus trees, also weighted down with blossom. The Ocean Spray, the Salal, the Dogwood, the Maples. I have never seen anything like the blossom this year--on native plants...

Sure, I've seen years where the cultivated blossom trees were fairly breaking under the weight. But never the native plants. And the ones responding most are the tough ones, the drought resistant ones...the cockroaches of the plant world...and the bees--absolutely pre-industrial around here.

For those who don't know, I spent a couple of years studying horticulture...have a diploma in it, in fact...and do you know why plants blossom? reproduce. And do you know what it means when a plant drives all of its energy into flowering? (Getting scared yet?) It means that the plant is under significant stress and believes this is its last chance to contribute to the gene pool.

The display is staggeringly beautiful and deeply frightening. The whole of nature is turned up to maximum. "Reproduce before you die", is the message going round. Are we listening? Do we hear what they're saying?--these flowers of fear?

Even this far north, the sun feels scorching on the skin--not healthy and life-giving. The young deer that came to our window yesterday (little antlers just budding out of its head) had black pendulous lesions all over its body. Looks like skin cancer to me...tho' I'm no expert.

The blossom delights the eye, the scent intoxicates, the warm green airs are buoyant with a symphony of birdsong, the blue sky calls forth the soul to rejoice. But my heart misgives me. Is this just one last glimpse of Paradise before we begin the journey into Hell?

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