Notes from a summer day

It is summer in the world outside, I catch glimpses of it as I cruise the Mumbai Pune expressway every week. It’s a familiar stretch, one I have seen being built over the last couple of decades. The cities it connects have spilled over at either end, shortening the bare open stretches. The trees on the verge are grown ones. I wonder if they were planted or they somehow crept into their tallness. They’re a mix, nothing planned about their arrangement, unlike the Satara- Kolhapur stretch which has neat lines of flowering trees. While driving back last afternoon, I wondered about what the person or team would have thought of as they decided on the landscaping of the road. What might have been my recommendation if I got to choose? I don’t know if we really ought to choose in the first place.

Over the last month, I watched jacaranda trees create lovely clouds and carpets, saw jackfruits ripening into sweet stickiness. Now, the copper pods mimic millions of suns as they smile between the leaves. In some places, the golden shower trees cannot wait and have begun to preen in dainty bunches. There are a few precocious Gulmohurs, early bloomers peeking through the green. Yesterday, I missed my leisurely ambles so much that I stopped on my way back home to say hello to my old tree friends. The ones that have been familiar are still waiting for their cue to burst into colour. I stopped by the old baobab tree on my way back home simply to see it before its season of flowering. There is something dramatic about trees in bloom, the entire run up to their flowering followed by their quiet retreat into anonymity. It’s beautiful how completely inconspicuous trees come alive in all their flamboyance and go back to being one among many. Tree time is slow time, perhaps the kind of time which we humans should also keep.

8 thoughts on “Notes from a summer day

  1. The cycle of tree time that you described is so fascinating. Truely seeing the visible change of new leaves budding, turning visible green and the slowly reddish brown and falling, to start all over again, and to observe the changes happen every day to remind us of the seasons changing!

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  2. A few of the trees here are at the earliest budding stage though few promise blooms, especially among the native varieties. Here and there along the escarpment the odd apple, cherry or lilac has slipped into the forest from the residential yards above, hiding until the spring exposes them—at least for a time. I must admit I am impatiently waiting for them to appear this year!

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    1. I know the feeling! Summers specially are a waiting for the rise and fall of so many different flowering trees here. I hope you get to enjoy your trees in their blushing to your heart’s content.

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