Almond Tree in Bloom

The almond blossoms are the herald of spring. The fig tree to the right, by contrast, is the last to put forth buds and new leaves.

Ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς συκῆς μάθετε τὴν παραβολήν· ὅταν ἤδη ὁ κλάδος αὐτῆς γένηται ἁπαλὸς καὶ τὰ φύλλα ἐκφύῃ γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος.

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh. (Matthew 24:32)

6 comments to Almond Tree in Bloom

  • Caroline Lees

    Sorry to hear about Fr Pavlos. I wish I had had the opportunity to meet him, I am so glad he enjoyed the watercolour of St Catherines from up behind the granite rocks that Sr Joanna bought for him. RE spring and bees. Are they taking pollen from the oleander? There was some discussion about them being poisonous to bees. Greetings from a very wet UK.

  • Clare Estrada

    So lovely! Seen against the stark mountain, the flowers seem to represent eternal renewal.


    Beautiful photo Fr Justin! I found a sprouting almond tree in my flowerpot and I enjoy my celestial fig tree, only 3ft and produces 60 figs in summer! I saw a lecture of Fr Pavlos at St Vladimir’s, and he mentioned his fav place to work was the garden, and “Trees are man’s best friend”
    I enjoyed attending forestry lecture &tour, at Bear Creek Park,when my Son was in the scouts, certainly I agree w Fr Pavlos!

    • Father Justin

      Here is a transcription of the English translation of the remarks that Father Pavlos made about gardens, from the 1985 film created by the Onassis Foundation:

      The monastery garden is a comfort to the monk. It’s an adornment on this natural landscape, this desert. It’s the best occupation. In the garden, the monk is not losing that simplicity and peace which is dear to him, because the trees, although each one of them can be seen as an entire factory, have been created by God to work secretly, as man works within his own heart. When a monk is attending to the garden, he can pray at the same time, and feel God very close to him, and not lose that peace of soul. It is physically tiring, of course. But then a monk, too, should get tired.

      Love starts with God. It extends to us. It goes on to our fellow men. It embraces the whole of creation. As Saint Isaac the Syrian says, it is when the heart burns for the whole of nature. It means one loves all creation, including the animals. We have seen many examples of holy ascetics who have fed wild animals, and snakes, even out of real love, a love that knows no bounds.


    Very inspirational Fr Justin

    thank you for sharing!
    Truly our stewartship of Nature and the animals is a blessing and gift of God, as Fr Pavlos has said. I rem my son’s scout group effort in Alief Community garden. Just as we finished the last planting bed, clouds came in and the rain poured. It seemed to me as God’s blessing and approval of their efforts!

  • Vicki Ioannidou

    The world lost a great figure of a man in Elder Pavlos.
    I met him three times at Saint Catherine’s Monastery and he heard my confession. I only went once as it must have been very tiring, all us pilgrims descending on him for confession when we already had our confessor. But, can you blame us for wanting to be near the great man? I considered it a blessing.
    Whenever he came to Cyprus, my friends and I would attend his homilies.
    I pray for the Monastery and its monks every day, for God to keep you all safe.
    Τες ευλογιες σας, πατερ.

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