After hours and hours inside, listening to the Covid-19 news cycle, running up against writer’s block and speaking to family members far away on the other side of the country, I wish I could say it was a meditation that cured my cabin fever — or learning a language, or cooking an ambitious meal. But it was the simple sight of cherry blossom trees lining an avenue in Regent’s Park, during an hour outdoors, which set me straight and showed me the extent of my luck.
It was the simple sight of cherry blossom trees lining an avenue in Regent’s Park which set me straight and showed me the extent of my luck.
Confetti-like blossom brings with it a sense of rebirth and celebration, and in ‘Almond Blossom’ (1890), Vincent Van Gogh conceived of the perfect gift for his newborn nephew and namesake. Set against a background of longing turquoise, the white flowers vibrate somewhere between urgency and serenity. Bold outlines, and the positioning of the branches in the picture plane — the absence of perspective or horizon — capture a world simplified by vivid colour and the brilliance of light.