Friday 13 June 2014

Some Fleeting Beauty

Yesterday, the first of my peonies bloomed.  There is a universal law that says the minute they bloom a torrential rain will fall and the blossom laden bush will lie in a sadly sodden mass on the ground.  It's nice to know the laws of the universe are still in place and the expected thunder storm happened yesterday evening.

Oh well, it's a good excuse to gather the blooms up and bring them in the house.  I think peonies surpass roses for heavenly scent.  ~

What do you think of my new vase?  It's a glass shade from an old outdoor light fixture! ~

It makes a fabulous candle holder as well.  All those crystal cuts sparkle with a flame inside and you can't beat a dual purpose holder that cost absolutely nothing!

Thirty three years ago, when I moved to this house, the many peony bushes were a pleasant surprise in the spring.  But, another surprise would happen in June.  In the middle of a noisy, family dinner I noticed the most wonderful scent wafting in the dining room window.  I jumped up from the table and ran outside to see where a scent that was half citrus and half rose was coming from. A big, old shrub outside the window was in bloom!

I had my very own Mock Orange, or Philaelphus to be more scientific.  All these years later, I was just as excited to find it in bloom yesterday.

As I clipped some branches to bring inside, I wondered how many June brides cut their bouquets from this same bush over the 200 yrs. the house has stood.  They carried the fragrance with them to the church next door and those blossoms were the last gift from the home that had sheltered them until they were ready to venture forward to a new home and a new life.  I'm sure they were just as hopeful as the ancient Roman brides that carried orange blossoms as a symbol of fidelity and fertility.

Tonight, as I write, the scent from the vases on the buffet fills the room. I think back on all the gifts this yard has shared with me and how wonderful it is to have something to look forward to every spring.

So many things in life are fleeting.  My little girls are grown and gone from home; mothers themselves. Beloved pets passed on.  Parents, aunts, uncles and nephews, that once filled this home with laughter, are no longer with us.

The peonies and orange blossoms are all the more special for being here for such a short time. They remind me to gather the beauty of life up into my arms, bury my face in its fragrance and appreciate every moment it is with me!

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