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Showing posts with label Magnolias. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Magnolias. Show all posts

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Scattered Memories

I heard a loud crash early one morning last week and rushed to check on Joe, who was getting dressed.  Then I walked through the kitchen and front part of the house looking for damage.  One cat was sitting calmly on the back of a chair but the other cat hid for the rest of the morning.  I didn't have to guess which one had knocked a bowl of homemade pot potpourri onto our ceramic tile floor. Skye came to spend the day with me and as she helped me take this picture and sweep up the broken pottery and remains of dried herbs and flowers , we talked about the damage and how breaking something can make us sad.  She wanted to keep the broken pieces of the bowl and some of the dried rosebuds to put with her fairy garden supplies.  Then we swept the rest into the trash.

It was only after I looked at the photo that I thought more about why this dish of dried petals was special.
Every thing in the bowl was from our garden and had been added one at a time.  The tiny Katrina rose buds and petals from a fragrant Maggie rose and the yellow rose which clambers over an arch,  tawny, leathery Magnolias, lavender fronds, pieces of basil and rosemary, even a dried slice of Meyer lemon.  All were gathered and collected in a small hand thrown bowl fired in a speckled jade green glaze that I bought when we lived in Indonesia over 20 years ago. Some of the rose buds had been picked by little girls and proudly presented as a gift. Joe likes to bring me a flower or piece of herb when he comes in from the garden. It was a joint endeavor.

So I was sad, not for the things broken and scattered, but for that which they represented: the growing and choosing and gathering, the connection and love of my family. And once again, I know that I can let go of things, but that I keep the love.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


When the Magnolias bloom again each year, I reach to pull a creamy cup down and inhale its sweetness. I may cut a few to bring inside and float in bowls, but they brown and wither soon.  They show off best in their  boughs of waxy green leaves.  They remind me of the trees that lined the edge of my elementary school yard, which happened to be adjacent to my own yard.  We often played in the shade of the trees, loving the spectacle of their blooms.  When the petals dropped, leaving cones with scarlet seeds, we played with those, creating, imagining, giggling.

In 1963, a bank of magnolia leaves was the only floral decoration at our December wedding. Many years and many places later, I stood by a Magnolia tree in the gardens of a sultan's palace in Bogor, Indonesia, and wondered if its twisted trunk and sprawling branches flowered.  Now, once again, my yard fills with the fragrance of Magnolias in Spring.  They seem to grow sweeter each year.