A Splash of Colour
June in Malta, and with temperatures suddenly hitting 34 degrees overnight, it can be quite exhausting and hard to appreciate the colours around you. If you like the shimmering turquoise of the Mediterranean Sea, then you can do no better! I love seeing the balls of sunlight dance and break up the waves into thousands of tiny pieces.
But having only a distant fondness for the sea, and having never painted it, my artistic ventures always lead me away to the sea, to greener places. And there aren’t much of these in Malta, even in winter. So a few weeks ago I was pleasantly caught by surprise by the splashes of colour in the capital, Valletta, when I set off on a random and spontaneous walk one early afternoon.
The Upper Barakka Gardens are famous for their stunning panoramic views over the Grand Harbour and the Three Cities, and it’s a wonderful sight, again, even more so if you love the colours of the sea and the softest yellow of limestone fortifications. Views are wonderful, but I found myself wandering through the shady gardens with my head down, indulging in the sudden abundance of flowers and blooms at my feet.
I’ve never seen the gardens filled with so many flowers, and so many different colours. There were calendulas in gorgeous yellows and oranges, Busy Lizzies, and carpets of yellows, purples, pinks and whites that reminded me of the Trent Gardens in my hometown. I found myself walking several laps, taking in the different shapes, stems and observing the way some flowers seemed to hug, while others wanted their own space. I was also intrigued at how the natural world was interacting with the man-made one, however superficially.
Then I discovered a plaque commemorating Albert Einstein, right here in Malta! I’ve been in the Upper Barakka Gardens a hundred times, but never once had I spotted this. I had set out on my walk with the simple aim of looking, really looking, and I guess I did. Flowers and nature have a wonderful power over me, and filled me with calm, inspiration and happiness.