Blossoms, Rituals, Future Machine and Covid-19

Because of the global and national lockdown, we were not, of course, able to meet physically under the trees when this tree blossomed in Christ Church Gardens 2020. It has been fully blossoming this week (week commencing 5th April), the same time as last year.

We have been continuining to track and follow the tree as and when we can, with fellow blossom watchers/guardians of the tree and Christ Church Gardens visiting as and when they can, on their daily exercise routes. It is so wonderful that people have joined in the tree watching this year of all years.

All the videos and documentation are being collected here: http://christchurchgardens.whenthefuturecomes.net/

Information about the previous years when this tree blossomed is here.

Frank is editing a film in response to this moment in time, the blossoms and thinking about risk and public space. This will be added online as the tree is in full blossom.

Two years ago we wrote about public space with no agenda and how we deal and think about risk, in reference to meeting under the blossom trees in the Spring in Christ Church Gardens. This year this issues have deepened becoming truly, confusingly, tragically real and we are left trying to respond whilst keeping to our promise to meet somehow and in someway, think about the future and Spring, with no agenda. This spawned an article in the Journal of Risk Research (get in touch if you want to read the full article). We hope to follow up from this article up in the near future.

We will be leaving a sign in the branches of the tree (Frank will drop it at the tree safely on his daily run) with the date of the blossoming and the website so that anyone visiting the gardens on their daily allowance of outdoorness can meet with and think with us.

We hope you all keep safe and well as possible and are able to keep enjoying the beautiful blossoms, Spring emerging and thinking postively about the future wherever you are.

We are looking at ways we can continue to ‘Create Rituals for When the Future Comes’ in the places where we are and developing a mobile phone app version of the Future Machine so that these moments can be witnessed and shared for now and the future.

More to come on the Future Machine, the other rituals planned across England and public space with no agenda in these increasingly uncertain times.

This national project is about resilience, thriving and witnessing times of environmental and social change in the places that are meaningful. Creating new rituals and acts to celebrate the importance of our environment and place in being able to thrive and live through environmental uncertainty. Despite physical isolation and distancing between us humans (and cats) this project remains committed to finding ways to connect to the world around us, to the seasons, the ineffable experience of being part of and within nature.