Along my street, not too far away from home, there is a magnificent tree ablaze with bright, red flowers. I pass under it every day, and I look up each time – at its vermillion blossoms and outstretched branches offering shade to anyone passing by. It is the most striking thing on an otherwise ordinary street, and I often wonder how it came to be there. It seems a likely starting point or setting for a story, the kind you’d read about it a book of fables or legends that explains the origin of names, places, and objects.
At the start of summer, the tree was in full bloom. I remember the vibrant contrast of red against blue, how it seemed as if small flames were licking the azure sky. A few weeks later, I found clusters of red on the road and had the urge to take photos before the changing seasons robbed it completely of its fire. I called in my friend, Pat, and we wheeled my shiny, blue bicycle to a spot underneath the tree. I took the photos just as the summer rays peeked in through the branches, illuminating the spread of fallen flowers on the ground.
After the shoot, I put the photos aside and forgot them for a while. Since then, the tree has shed most of its flowers and begun to look like the others on the street. I finally got around to editing the photos a few days ago and was glad to see the fire tree as it should be – alive and blazing with color.