Tuesday, 24 February 2009
It's the time of year when, astonishingly, London's mimosa trees come into full sunshine-yellow bloom (accompanied by a subtly beautiful honeyish fragrance). It's always an unexpected, heart-lifting sight in this grimmest month of the year (though I noticed yesterday that the dusk was loud with full-throated blackbirds giving their all). The odd thing about mimosas is that I never noticed them until a few years ago, when a particularly fine specimen stopped me in my tracks - What is thaaat? I soon had it identified, and ever since then I've been seeing mimosas everywhere. It can't be that they're newly planted - many are clearly mature trees. Either I didn't notice them readily because I didn't know what they were, or, since identifying them, I've become sensitised and see them immediately. This looks to me like a good argument for naming and identifying what's around us - it really does, it seems, help us to see.