The flame tree takes me by the hand and leads me into winter, saying ‘It’s OK. I’ll be there to warm you through the coldest of days. I’ll be flaring brightly, no matter what.’
The flame tree makes the transition so comforting. Its scarlet flowers are opening fast, before the leaves have dropped. At no stage does the tree stand bare and cold. And in addition, the flowers with their sweet nectar have enticed the tuis back across the water. I see their gleaming black bodies flying in and out of the tree, and hopping amidst the branches as they happily feed.
With the tuis comes their song. And so the tree gives me continuity, fiery pleasure, as well as singing to me from morning till night. I am reminded of the Chinese proverb:

Keep a green tree in your heart, and perhaps the singing bird will come.