If a writer were to compose a successful piece
Describing the almond blossom, the fog would rise
From the hills, and people, all the people, would say:
This is it.
Our almond tree is wearing its wedding dress again. It is time to say goodbye to the freezing winds and early frosts. Now the first tree is in flower, so let’s celebrate the beginning of spring!
Even though we are not in a an almond growing area (in fact France as a country isn’t, which makes you wonder about all those almond specialities like frangipane, calissons d’Aix, sacristain and others), there is the odd almond tree scattered around the Doux valley. You wouldn’t notice them during the rest of the year, but now it is their moment, when they show off their pinkish white dresses.
They stand out like patches of pure snow in the grey countryside.
It’s not surprising that one of van Gogh’s obsessions was to transpose this miracle of nature onto canvas,
In literature the almond tree is often used as a symbol for love and virginity, an idea which is probably rooted, (literally) in the original myth linked to Saint Valentine, the saint who is responsible for the comercial fiesta in February. The girl whose eyesight he had miraculously restored fell in love with him, but sadly, like most early saints, he was martyred and that was the end of that. According to legend, the desolate and virtuous maiden planted an almond tree on his grave. You can just imagine her in the Dolce and Gabbana dress!
From the 7th to 22nd of March France is celebrating the seventeenth Printemps des Poètes and the above poem by the Palestinian writer Mahmoud Darwish is our small contribution to mark this event.