Friday, May 21, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Have you ever time travelled? I tried it out this week during my morning walk.
Trudging along my typical path, I got this overwhelming hit of honeysuckle, now blooming like crazy in North Carolina. All of the recent rains and quick humid weather have flushed out this tropical gem.
Inhaling deeply I was transported back to the 1980s. There I am, 10 years old and watching my older sister getting ready for prom. She wore a heavy perfume that was all the rage back then, Jungle Gardenia – which happens to smell just like our honeysuckle. I watched her in awe, donning makeup, putting on her amazing dress and wondering if I would ever look that beautiful or go to the prom.
That honeysuckle whiff sent me tumbling back to childhood – I am 12 and stealing mists of my mom’s perfume. Then transported again to visiting family in Puerto Rico -- exotic flower blooms mingled with my aunt’s rice and beans. Next, I’m in high school at my brother’s wedding – listening to my mother’s too loud laugh as she donned a corsage of tropical flowers. So much emotion and wonder and dreams and delight wrapped up in the power of smell.
People always talk of stopping to smell the roses. But if you ever cared for anything beyond a shrub rose, you know it’s complicated. You know about the endless rounds of chemicals and fertilizers and pruning and fuss fuss. On top of all that, most roses don’t really smell all that much.
For me, honeysuckle is the true beauty. It grows naturally on it’s own without much trouble. You come around a bend and it surprises you. Just as summer begins to unfurl in full dramatic stride, honeysuckles demands your notice. With it’s heady lushness, you close your eyes, breathe deep and are transported again.