That there is the hyacinth I introduced you to a few weeks ago. This picture was taken today, March 8. It started popping the flower stalk a few days ago, and every time a new one of those flower "bubbles" opens, a fresh burst of hyacinth smell gently wafts out. Not far, mind you, but I'm more than happy to bring my nose to the vase.
It's particularly pleasant to be able to do so after nearly a week of scent-free living. Well, seeing as one can't really live scent-free, let's call it "scent-avoidant" living. As in, steering clear of purposely applied fragrances, and known tummy rumblers like the TJ's chili my spouse is so fond of, certain fried foods, and pet incidents.
My own child and his variation of The Thing That Passed Through? Well, I'm a parent. Can't really avoid that.
Anyway, time moves on. Time. As in "Time is the thing that keeps everything from happening at once," which someone posted on Facebook today. Or as in the thing you must endure to finally experience the smell of a hyacinth. The thing that heals all wounds. The thing that allows you to get a glimpse of how Mitsouko could be beautiful. The thing that has etched my face with charming character when I smile or puzzle to comprehend something. The thing the boy wanted to see fly when he threw his alarm clock out the window.
It's been a week since I've written here. Not my intent.
Yesterday was Pulaski Day in Chicago and portions of its environs. Growing up in Detroit, I was aware of the contributions of one Taddeus Kosciuszko, because there is a big honking stature of him charging on horseback there. Wikipedia tells me that "in Poland, every major town has a street or square named for him." An engineer who became friends with Jefferson, rebuilt forts, was entrusted by Washington to rebuild West Point, and served the USA for seven years, Kosciuszko ultimately dedicated his estate for purchasing the freedom of slaves. Kosciuszko was difficult to spell, but easy to become a fan of.
I moved to Chicago, and learned schools and city offices closed because of another Polish national who fought in the Revolutionary War, Casimir Pulaski. What with no spelling challenge and free time to share with friends, it took me a while to motivate and dig up just what Pulaski did to merit such recognition.
At the oversimplified expense of a guy who seems to have served our country nobly, I've picked up that he was a Polish noble who fought the Russians who then came over here and took a hit of grapeshot.
And therefore shares company with the pirate known as Black Bart.
The mind reels at the potential for local political humor, but I'm going to bring it back to perfume. Or at least smelling. Believe it or not.
So, thanks to Not Black Bart Pulaski, much of my local universe has the day off. Including Younger Son. I decide that after last week -- a Black Week in our health indeed -- we would be well served to get fresh air and stroll the grounds of the Botanic Garden. The fact that we are at the 42nd parallel, more or less, and that winter and spring are still playing a mean game of chicken does not daunt me. Time to move. Time to find that evidence of spring's inevitable arrival I saw during the near 50ºF outburst last Friday.
It was near freezing. And terribly grey. So the air was fresh, but pretty pictures were hard to come by. As was evidence of the impending turn of the earth. Time, more time, required.
We slogged forth, nonetheless.
It was too cold to catch a whiff of that wonderful humus and dirt smell that a certain kind of spring day carries. Too cold even to smell the kind of moist air that says "spring." So we walked, and took pictures, and I spent a little time observing the thing that garden landscapers know: Nature doesn't work in boxes, and neither should you. Amorphous shapes, curves...phi.
There was something really quite wonderful about remembering that. Because I had just "lost" a week of time. And was feeling a little lost myself as a result. Usually I'm pretty good at rolling with it. But this was a day when I really, really, really, could have used a dose of spring. I thought.
What I was given was the reminder that when given time, Nature works in contours, not straight edges. And that ended up being being a fine gift indeed.
Because I remembered that, when given the choice, I don't go for the straight edges anyway. I remember that, as I've been saying, spring will come, but you've got to give it time. So the snowdrops were a delight, but it was important to remember time and contours first.
Tomorrow, back to perfume. Marina and I are going to give some thoughts on L'Accord (Code 119). And it will be just about the right moment to follow the curve back to sniffery.
Meanwhile, I'm still poring over garden catalogs. Going to pick out a grapevine to plant. You know--so that every time I see a bunch hanging, I can nod to Black Bart and Casimir.
all photos are author's own