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A Beautiful Photo Gives a Much-Needed Lift

Marion Charatan

Posted on October 24, 2020 13:53

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Going into the fall season usually makes me feel good — with the holiday season right around the corner. But reading the stats on the exploding number of new coronavirus cases threw me into a downward spiral this morning, until I opened The Guardian newspaper and saw pictures of glorious Jacarandas in bloom.

You might have never heard of the Jacaranda tree. But you certainly know the term if you live in Australia.

I came to appreciate beautiful plants from an early age. My wonderful parents were master gardeners. My Mom and Dad took great pride and care growing lovely rose bushes, assorted colorful plants like rhododendrons, robust tomatoes, and delectable herbs in their Long Island garden. Later on, when they relocated to Florida, they maintained a wonderful enclosed solarium housing a multitude of colorful tropical plants. 

It always gave me a lift to sit in their back yard with them, enjoying their company and soaking in the peace that being around plants provides. There is something magical and healing when you are surrounded by flowers and plants in natural settings. 

We all need to find more peace now. Frankly, I have been discouraged by the state of things. Far too many people are getting sick and dying and there seems to be constant discord and anger all around. 

I was feeling down this morning until I saw the Guardian's likeness of blooming Jacarandas. The headline expressed why my mood improved suddenly — a "burst of lilac is a reminder of normality."

In color psychology, purple, which is can be described as a dark lilac, is associated with power, wisdom, and spirituality, among other characteristics. The purple variety of the Jacaranda plant is known as Jacaranda mimosifolia and grows all over Australia. The flowers have a mild honey scent when in bloom.

Jacarandas in Australia were first documented in 1864, growing in Brisbane’s botanical gardens. In November of 1865, a newspaper article in The Sydney Morning Herald even described residents admiring Jacaranda trees on the Prince of Wales'  birthday celebration.

For Australians, the sight of the familiar trees blooming, no doubt, provides a sense of comfort and familiarity in these worldwide chaotic times. But a sad reality is the annual Grafton Jacaranda Festival celebration, an 86 year tradition in Australia, had to be canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A press release stated that organizers were 'heartbroken.' The cancellation will negatively impact tourism, including hotels and restaurants, and create hardship for artists selling their wares. The rescheduled Festival is slated for October 29 to November 7, 2021.

We have learned to make adjustments to the new reality that coronavirus suddenly imposed on us around March — increased isolation with the restriction of social events. Lessons to be gleaned — appreciate beauty and comfort in any form you find it in your life even if it's looking at a photograph or seeing a family member or friend via Zoom. And look forward to the day when life will be more like the one you enjoyed a mere 7 months ago.

Marion Charatan

Posted on October 24, 2020 13:53

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