Magnolias Open and Gandhi Walks: Union Square NYC

 Stopping off at Union Square today after work in NYC to see the magnolia trees, I found them in full bloom and they changed my day completely. Magnolia blossoms give only a faint scent but it permeated the area. Occupy Wall Street was meeting quietly at the south end of the park. Beside them toward the west side of the park a dozen people were paired off playing chess with intense deliberation. Further toward the west side of the park is the Gandhi statue, and from where I sat on an old wooden bench it looked like the blossoms were opening to follow him along his way.

Between the magnolia branches I could see children playing at the north end of the park next to caretakers. Other plants were pushing up their first shoots and leaves reaching for the sun. The farmers market was bustling around the square selling vegetables, pussy willows, cherry tree branches, potted perennial flowers and herbs. The noise here doesn’t trouble the flowering trees, responding as generations past have to the lengthened hours of sunlight. Regardless of our traffic, commerce and protests, the flowers open and release their fragrance.

A sparrow nestled in a grand flowering magnolia. She looked so small among the voluptuous blossoms. Yes, spring caught me today and lifted me up into her scented branches along with the little birds. I went back down the subway stairs with a silly smile on my face, and 3 tiny pots of miniature iris in a bag to plant behind the apartment another day. I say that I love autumn and I write what readers call horror, but today I really do love spring.

What flowers are opening where you live?

8 responses to “Magnolias Open and Gandhi Walks: Union Square NYC”

  1. As a one-time New Yorker, I particularly appreciated this post. Gandhi was not there when I lived in NY. Now, one of my local farms, Phillips Farms, brings their fruits, veggies, jams, etc. to you in Union Square. Happy Spring!


  2. I love this post and it encourages me to do the same and celebrate nature, spring is lovely! Your description of the flowers opening following the Gandhi statue reminds me of the story of lotuses blossoming following Buddha’s footsteps. 🙂


    • Thanks for sharing your impressions here Sophia. I always enjoy your photo posts and your tumblr ticklemetoo. I remember that image of lotus blossoms behind baby Buddha’s first steps, so beautiful.


  3. Jennifer, I am glad you took the time to get off the subway and come up to form impressions and take photos of Union Square. The magnolia blossoms you photographed are beautiful. I can remember seeing so many of the same sights (minus the magnolias in bloom) when my husband and I went through Union Square last May on a walk from 34th Street to just beyond 1st Street. We walked after we got off the bus that brought us to New York City from Arlington, VA, pulling our bags to our hotel, so we could experience Manhattan as pedestrians. Your Gandhi statue photo reminds me of a photo my husband took, prompting a smile from a lady on a nearby bench, perhaps since my husband’s wire glasses and bald head look a lot like Gandhi’s.

    In Kansas City we are having a fast spring. There have been crocuses, daffodils, Bradford pears, magnolias, redbuds and tulips in rapid succession.


    • Thanks for sharing this memory of the trip to NYC with your husband, walking is a great way to see the city. Barbara the flowers you describe sound so beautiful. My happiest childhood memory of a scent has to be the tall locust trees in bloom.


  4. Hi Jennifer. You write horror, but you also pen such beautiful love letters to our Mother Earth and the bounty each season provides. I feel like I was at the park with you!

    So delighted to see and be part of the yearly rebirth of life and spirit that spring provides. I enjoy seeing the daffodils sprouting from the soil, and the birds building a tidy nest. It makes me want to tidy up my nest!

    Happy Spring.


    • Each garden is like a little gift or love letter to Mother Earth, it is true. I think you will be planting a garden soon Catherine! I always enjoy the pictures at your site American Dream Finder.



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