The Hyacinth and Narcissus came in late this year. We should probably blame the warm December.
Of all the flowers, these two evoke the most memories for me. When I hold the first Hyacinth of spring to my nose and sniff it, I am in my childhood again. I am carried there by a smell. How could a simple flower be so powerful?
In the smell of those two flowers, there is a quaint neighborhood in Nashville, Tennessee, off of Granny White Pike. The houses are old; built in the 1920’s. The year is 1969. It is a day that I am walking home from elementary school; something my mother let me do from time to time. In that day and in that place it was safe and ordinary. As I arrive at my yard I sit down in the grass next to the long flower bed where the daffodils bloom. And I sniff all the daffodils. Well, I called them buttercups. Narcissus is the botanical name. The common name is daffodil. But I called them buttercups.
In the back of our house I go outside to play. Under the persimmon tree there are a dozen or more Hyacinths that bloom there every spring. I smell them and smell them again. And the Fifth Dimension sings Up, Up and Away in My Beautiful Balloon. And then I go to the creek by Mrs. Fish’ house to look for salamanders. I climb trees. I pull onion grass and pretend I’m an Indian and make wild onion soup.
Today, this day, March 1, 2016, is a day far, far away from that place. In fact, that place is a place to which I cannot return. So, explain to me, how is it that when I lift the vase to my nose that holds the hyacinth, that I cut from my garden an hour ago, that I am there again? This is a mystery. And I don’t think while we are bound and limited to that thing called Time, that we shall ever solve it.