The Mystery in the Hyacinth and the Buttercup

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.




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