Friday, April 15, 2011

palm (i)

when i was very little i remember being given a palm frond as the prime symbolic element connected to palm sunday. to the little kid who lived at the end of an alleyway, it seemed so exotic - and really when i think about it, wow! how did they get them to this little group of ragamuffins in suburban manchester?

looking into the cuban sky was so thrilling because it was often framed or filled with palm trees.
for some of my readers this is as commonplace as it is for me to see maple trees.
but i couldn't get past the thrill each time!

cuba's national tree - the royal palm


the fronds of the palms segmented the sky into little ribbons by day

and by night


at the part of the trunk where the fronds emerge there were these cool spidery features



and all sorts of cool textures in their bodies

18 comments:

Dan Gurney said...

You gotta come to California someday, steven. Lots of good biking. An owl lives in the palm tree next door. You should see it.

steven said...

dan - it's gonna happen!!! i wonder what his eastern owl buddies would make of his funky home!! steven

Ruth said...

Steven, I remember feeling this way when we lived in Pasadena. I'm sure I must have seen palms in Israel, but I can't recall noticing them. I found this in wiki about palm fronds for Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem: The palm branch was a symbol of triumph and victory in Jewish tradition.

OceanoAzul.Sonhos said...

steven, magnificent photos, for me palm is a symbol of tranquility, calm, even in times of storm.
I learned that the cuba's national tree is the royal palm :) thanks
oa.s

ellen abbott said...

they are wonderful exotic trees that grow right out of the sand. and they give us such wonderful fruits.

Linda Sue said...

OOOOOH they are wonderful! Colours rich and delicious.
Palms are exotic, and weird. Mysterious, also- how did they end up in little crosses in Manchester, in Alaska, In the plains of mid-America dirt.?

Jo said...

I had the same experience in my church growing up, and loved hearing the stories of the importance of the palm fronds. The feeling of wonder at it was the same, too, for this midwestern girl who had only seen palm trees in pictures. I've seen hundreds of palms since then, but, oh, to hold a real part of one as a child DID make me feel like waving it in triumph!

The photos are fabulous. I love how you started with the whole, then moved down from the top, allowing us to inspect every detail right down to the earth.

hope said...

So many wonderful textures there!

Guess I'm going to have to go back and look at the old S.C. state tree, the Palmetto Tree, a little differently. :)

steven said...

ruth thanks for the wikinsight! it's funny to me how the little memories of my childhood come back when they face up to the big experiences of adulthood. steven

steven said...

oa.s, i don;t know enough about the associations with the palm tree to really appreciate it in terms of metaphor. however, i'm grateful for your personal insight. steven

steven said...

ellen - i don't know much about their fruits. palm oil i've heard of and likely use somewhere in my experience. hmmmm. steven

steven said...

linda sue it's be cool to track the little bits of plants and how they end up every which place and used in every which way . . . . steven

steven said...

jo - you saw the piece as i felt it. from the top to the bottom. because initially i was entirely caught up with the leaves waving in the sun.but i worked my way through their bodies to the ground. the magic. well i still feel the little boy's amazement at holding a palm frond. steven

steven said...

hope go have a look! again! steven

Valerianna said...

I sooo enjoyed the palms on my recent visit to Florida - the light patterns and textures. Interesting to see how your eye saw their beauty differently.

Ok, sometimes one just MUST comment on the word verification word.... mine today is "outherst".... definition - to be thirstier than others, or to make someone more thirsty...? I like words... and new ones, too!

steven said...

valerianna - i like words a lot. new words especially! thanks for this one. an added bonus to your comment. steven

Liza Ursu said...

"the fronds of the palms segmented the sky into little ribbons by day"
how perfect is that!!!!
I would have been just as thrilled Steven. I might have even clapped! LOL!

steven said...

liza - looking up and through and between and despite their little slicy sky cutting fronds was daily sport for my eyes. steven