at last, i couldn’t leave her there outside my window. no longer could i resist her fine allure, the unrelenting airwaves, the ones she sent my way, through windows cracked for air, and that little tiny space where the door jamb’s never snugly fit and, in the winter, lets in refrigerated winds.
ever since my spicy viburnum bravely boldly bared her inner workings, i’ve been underneath her spell. i wake and breathe her in. i dilly-dally not too far away, pretending i am plucking sticks or stones, when really i am only getting drunk. on her sweet perfume, and the way she coyly cocks her head.
this morning, i admit, i was overcome. basically went bonkers.
if temptation were a teeter-totter, and resisting took a careful balance, well, then, i sank. smack hard, i fell. and off i tumbled. gave in completely to the whims of spring.
what knocked me down was this: suddenly i realized the equation here was wholly out of balance. out the door, and down two steps, all was swirling. a soup of spicy honey notes, lolling through the open sky and down my breathing tubes.
but just inside, where i cook and burn things right and left, all i could mostly smell was blackened broccoli from the night before.
so i did the only thing i could. i balanced out the smells. i reached beneath the sink, grabbed my felco no. 2’s, the pruning tool of choice, and i went and clipped not one, not two, but three. ouch, and ouch, and ouch.
i winced, but couldn’t help myself. and that blessed bush didn’t even whimper. just openly surrendered the fruits of all her labors. i think she understood that to be brought inside is a worthy sacrifice.
crowning glories are what they are, those soft pink petals the color of an oyster’s inner sanctum, and now they fill my house.
so help me, as i sit and type, two whole rooms away, and down a hall and steps besides, i could close my eyes and think she’s just beneath my nose, perfuming every molecule, invigorating all my typing.
is she not a beauty queen, preening there upon my window sill? i can barely stand how beautiful she is.
in fact, i can’t stand to leave her where she is, alone upon the sill. so now i’ve taken to making like a bridesmaid, carrying her, in her little vase, wherever it is i traipse.
it’s quite a fine design. she sits there sipping waters; i go about my whole day’s business. so far, she’s only made it up and down the stairs and ’round the house. but any minute now i must trek outside, down the block, and over to the school where my little boy is learning. do you think i might get funny looks?
oh, well, who cares. there are those who’ll understand. and those who don’t, oh, well.
i’m sure as sure can be, that, come nightfall, when at last the day’s staccato quiets down, and her soothing comes in mighty handy, i’ll carry her to bed with me. i’ll tuck her in, right beside my pillow, and whisper my good nights.
while i dream of sweet and soft and spicy stories, she’ll keep watch and fill the midnight and the dawn with the dwindling notes of her complete surrender.
this is the end of my sweet viburnum’s story. i might check in on the day she fades away. but for now her story’s over. bless you who read along. and may you too be touched by the miracles of spring, who offer up their essence for our most essential joy. if we only pay attention.
Yikes……….survived the pummeling storm only to be snipped at the waist so some wonderfully crazylady can take me to the local schoolyard?!?!…LOL…and LOL…… she (and her two friends) are lovely….and ‘I’ certainly wouldn’t laugh at any beautiful, curly haired, momma lady who had the aplomp to carry her in all her perfumed glory (and water-filled glass) to school on, what looks to be, a wonderfully sunny afternoon!!! I ‘d only wish it were me!!….
aplomp? what’s aplomp??………sorry, should be a-p-l-o-m-b………..it would be better to slow down and reread comments before hitting ‘send’ !!
i know that this meandering was written in a very playful tone, but I can’t help waxing towards deep thoughts from a reading that I heard someone read at a memorial service this weekend. As you talk about the flowers and their scent following you every which way, I couldn’t not think about this reading.Here it is:A quote ascribed to MuhammadO God, give me light in my heart and light in my tongue and light in my hearing and light in my sight and light in my feeling and light in my body and light before me and light behind me. Give me, I pray Thee, light on my right hand and light on my left hand and light above me and light beneath me. O Lord, increase light within me and give me light to illuminate me.May the scent and the beauty of the flowers surround you in similar ways.
Amen to Muhammad and the blessing…..and also Amen to “aplomp”…I am sort of falling in love with that word…and going to “aplomp’ myself down near some viburnum and drift away with the smell – as I have been snipping away back branches in the alley this last week and “aplomping” them over my sink!
Ahh, THAT’S the pic I’ve been waiting for. Scent really is like light, except it works even when it’s cloudy outside. Often the Bible speaks of holiness in terms of scent; my church’s worship is filled with scents spicy, sweet, and overwhelming. Scripture speaks of our labors, our prayers, our faithfulnesses, rising to God as a strong smell of incense. Can you imagine if we all gave as much joy and exuberance and beauty as one little cluster of viburnum? Can you even imagine?Thank you for these beautiful photos and this sweet chronicle of a flower.
well this is some holy communion, this gathering of all you aromiacs (i just made that word up, but since ol’ vam got us going with the marvelous new rendition of aplomp, i hereby declare this make-up-words meander. i can barely stand to think if my computer hadn’t finally coughed it up and let me get that girl online, my pirouetting beauty queen, what with all that she’s inspired here. seriously, slj, and jcv, your holy sacred thoughts of light and scent sent me. i need to contemplate that wham-bam combination of thoughts…….which i will do as i breathe deeply for having made it through this day, and that frightful non-computing spell. i could stare at her and the light pouring through her leaves and her big tall drink of water. yo, vam, not a single person looked at me funny like as i walked to school with my tag-along bouquet. there was the guy who yelled something out the window, but i paid no mind……..i might be underwater for the next day or so writing a story for mother’s day (for the chicago tribune, my daily bread) that, i promise you, will have you weeping in your home-made mother’s day breakfasts-in-bed, if you’re having one, that is. it will inspire you, and give you goosebumps too. i promise it has a happy ending. every once in a while–more often than not, actually–i stumble upon a story that i fall so deeply in love with, for the power of its message, that i can barely contain my keyboard-typing fingers. this is what i do when i write those….and this is sort of a secret so why am i telling it here….i close my eyes and ask God to make me nothing more than His/Her pencil. and then i type with all my might to try to make the holy blessed spirit pour out and through those words, so everyone who reads it, gets it, that the stories in a newspaper are everyday gospels and there are truly saints among us….and i always hope that just by reading it, maybe someone will be filled with hope, or courage, or whatever it is they need. anyway, the one this mother’s day is one of those………i promise i will put it up here, or link to it, and then i’ll tell you everything i loved but couldn’t fit in the paper…..man oh man, for that alone i am delighted to have this here chair. or is it a table? oh, yes, a table with many many chairs…… g’night everybody. gnight sweet viburnum….
can’t wait for that mothers day story! thanks for sharing your sweet viburnum 🙂
what a gift you have, you capture the grace into words, a feeling I share but could never express so eloquently…you do touch hearts out here in the cyber world…thankful for the gift of this table and chair…
you have literally opened my eyes to the beauty that surrounds me and us all during this most reluctant spring…..I have been focused on the weather and in the process, almost – just almost – neglected to open myself to the wonders of color and smells bursting in front of me. I now see seas of blue amidst the sincerely gritty streets of Center City Philadelphia and trees and bushes of whites, pinks, purples and greens in Chicago.
Goodness! I’ve been away from the table for far too many days … that bloom sends me over the moon! Wish I were there to take in the heavenly fragrance. Some things are just worth the wait, no?And bam … can’t wait for the Mother’s Day story. To all the moms pulling up a chair, Happy Mother’s Day …
Oh thank you for bringing the anticipation and tension and ecstasy of a good old North American spring to the screen! It’s been delightful to journey through the drama with you all, from a degree and a half south of the equator, where incredible plants and vibrant flowers weave in and out all year long. You keep me connected to the seasons of home – thank you!Blessings to all who nurture life, especially to all you moms!