The almond blossom and Nikos Kazantzakis

The almond tree in my country abode of Posadas (Cordova)

“I said to the almond tree: ‘Speak to me of God’ and the almond tree blossomed.“

—`Nikos Kazantzakis (February 18, 1883, Greece —October 26, 1957, Germany)

The almond blossom is also a symbol of bravery and courage, purity, hope, and love. In Greek mythology it is a symbol of eternal true love, unconquerable by death. For the Christians, it is a symbol of Jesus’ virgin birth. In short, the almond blossom is a sacred symbol.

Nikos Kazantzakis was a Greek writer, considered a giant of modern Greek literature, awarded the Nobel Prize in nine times. Kazantzakis’ novels included Zorba the Greek, Christ Recrucified, Captain Michalis, and The Last Temptation of Christ. He also translated a number of notable works into Modern Greek, such as the Divine Comedy, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, On the Origins Of Species, the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Nikos Kazantzakis
(Courtesy Wiki)

Thank you for visiting. I hope this finds you well — take care!

Bye for now xxx

The Three Kings lonely almond blossom!

Hello everyone! I hope you are keeping well.

Firstly, sorry to say that the photos in this post and the last 4 posts have been eliminated due to insufficient space on the multimedia (see my later post for details…)

As you may or may not know, today is the Epiphany, or Three Kings (or Reyes Magos, as it is known here in Spain) — the day when presents are given.

Last night I found my present — the first almond blossom! And here it is…

The almond blossom looking south towards the distant hills of Malaga (about 2 & 1/2 hours drive from here, Posadas in the province of Cordova)

The Three Kings is a day that is very celebrated here in Spain when presents are traditionally exchanged. Usually floats bearing the Kings Gasper, Balthazar and Melchor, together with loads of sweets and presents are paraded along the streets, to the delight of the thronging crowds. Although these parades have been banned this year due to THE virus, children (and adults) can still give their letters to The Three Kings the day before, asking what they wish for.

Below is a photo taken from our local village Posadas, inviting people to come (in an orderly fashion with everyone wearing masks of course!)

Visit The Three Kings! (Courtesy Posadas County Council)

And to finish, here’s a poem from one of my favourite authors, D.H. Lawrence. (Mind you, to be honest, I didn’t realise til lately that he started out as a poet.) For his short biography here is an interesting link.

Almond Blossom — D.H Lawrence (England, 1885- France, 1930)

Even iron can put forth,

Even iron.

This is the iron age,

But let us take heart

Seeing iron break and bud,

Seeing rusty iron puff with clouds of blossom.

The almond-tree,

December’s bare iron hooks sticking out of earth.

The almond-tree,

That knows the deadliest poison, like a snake

In supreme bitterness.

Upon the iron, and upon the steel,

Odd flakes as if of snow, odd bits of snow,

Odd crumbs of melting snow.

But you mistake, it is not from the sky;

From out the iron, and from out the steel,

Flying not down from heaven, but storming up,

Strange storming up from the dense under-earth

Along the iron, to the living steel

In rose-hot tips, and flakes of rose-pale snow

Setting supreme annunciation to the world.

Nay, what a heart of delicate super-faith,

Iron-breaking,

The rusty swords of almond-trees.

Trees suffer, like races, down the long ages.

They wander and are exiled, they live in exile through long ages

Like drawn blades never sheathed, hacked and gone black,

The alien trees in alien lands: and yet

The heart of blossom,

The unquenchable heart of blossom!

Look at the many-cicatrised frail vine, none more scarred and frail,

Yet see him fling himself abroad in fresh abandon

From the small wound-stump.

Even the wilful, obstinate, gummy fig-tree

Can be kept down, but he’ll burst like a polyp into prolixity.

And the almond-tree, in exile, in the iron age!

This is the ancient southern earth whence the vases were baked, amphoras, craters, cantharus, oenochoe, and open-hearted cylix,

Bristling now with the iron of almond-trees

Iron, but unforgotten,

Iron, dawn-hearted,

Ever-beating dawn-heart, enveloped in iron against the exile, against the ages.

See it come forth in blossom

From the snow-remembering heart

In long-nighted January,

In the long dark nights of the evening star, and Sirius, and the Etna snow-wind through the long night.

Sweating his drops of blood through the long-nighted Gethsemane

Into blossom, into pride, into honey-triumph, into most exquisite splendour.

Oh, give me the tree of life in blossom

And the Cross sprouting its superb and fearless flowers!

Something must be reassuring to the almond, in the evening star, and the snow-wind, and the long, long, nights,

Some memory of far, sun-gentler lands,

So that the faith in his heart smiles again

And his blood ripples with that untenable delight of once-more-vindicated faith,

And the Gethsemane blood at the iron pores unfolds, unfolds,

Pearls itself into tenderness of bud

And in a great and sacred forthcoming steps forth, steps out in one stride

A naked tree of blossom, like a bridegroom bathing in dew, divested of cover,

Frail-naked, utterly uncovered

To the green night-baying of the dog-star, Etna’s snow-edged wind

And January’s loud-seeming sun.

Think of it, from the iron fastness

Suddenly to dare to come out naked, in perfection of blossom, beyond the sword-rust.

Think, to stand there in full-unfolded nudity, smiling,

With all the snow-wind, and the sun-glare, and the dog-star baying epithalamion.

Oh, honey-bodied beautiful one,

Come forth from iron,

Red your heart is.

Fragile-tender, fragile-tender life-body,

More fearless than iron all the time,

And so much prouder, so disdainful of reluctances.

In the distance like hoar-frost, like silvery ghosts communing on a green hill,

Hoar-frost-like and mysterious.

In the garden raying out

With a body like spray, dawn-tender, and looking about

With such insuperable, subtly-smiling assurance,

Sword-blade-born.

Unpromised,

No bounds being set.

Flaked out and come unpromised,

The tree being life-divine,

Fearing nothing, life-blissful at the core

Within iron and earth.

Knots of pink, fish-silvery

In heaven, in blue, blue heaven,

Soundless, bliss-full, wide-rayed, honey-bodied,

Red at the core,

Red at the core,

Knotted in heaven upon the fine light.

Open,

Open,

Five times wide open,

Six times wide open,

And given, and perfect;

And red at the core with the last sore-heartedness,

Sore-hearted-looking.

Happy Three Kings!

Thank you for visiting — take care! xxx