Monday, July 25, 2005


Watering the gardens in the 103 heat, I water in the orange esperanza and a waft of sweetness passes over me. Where does it come from? I look at the rain filled clouds coming this way and try to descern the direction of the wind, then follow the breezes backward towards the scent. Faintly sweet, definitely a presence, I wondered who is thinking of me.
I have always subscribed to a fragrance reminding me of someone, or perhaps it's a silent message to me that someone is thinking of me.
Who would this be thinking of me--it's an oddly sweet but antique fragrance, full of depth, possibly some form of sweet water scent, like right after a rain; of antique lace doilies that you sometimes find in good flea markets or in someone's elder relative's home... beautiful cotton tatting in short waves, connecting to one another, darkened only slightly by time and loving admiring hands...
Brent's departed grandmother Amelia? She has always remained close since she left almost 10 years ago. Now that we have her amoire I feel she is a constant part of the family--I look into the mirror on the front of the piece of furniture and while I am taller than the mirror, I try to imagine her tiny self, all 4' 2", dressed for the day, a special occaision, or a walk out to her roses in the back yard. I only knew her towards the end of her magnificent life but wish I knew her stories of coming to this continent at 15, alone, leaving her family in Poland, and eventually establishing her family here. Without her, there'd be no family of my own.
I continue to water the esperanza, the red crepe myrtle still in full bloom, and on to the daisies that I transplanted from the west side of the house. They've begun to settle in though are laying around as if the all day full sun and heat have done them in. I tell them to get used to it and quit complaining. They are full sun plants and their counterparts in the fenced garden are something to see, standing proud and blooming tall.... then I find many seedlings of the ever present echinacea plant that is a full 4' tall this year. She is definitely statuesque and doesn't realize her height will warrant a mid winter move to the back of the garden, to replace the white salvia behind her, making room for something oh so exciting--I don't know what that would be right now, but I never lack for plants in the spring.
The rain is coming, drops are now falling intermittantly and the wind is picking up. I roll the hose onto itself and rush to the front yard to grab the towel for laundry, barely making it to the front door before getting soaked.
Later, after the rain has passed, I walk out back and grab the black cohosh in its own container in the prickly garden and much to my amazement, there is the scent--the kidneywood is in full bloom, sharing her scent and happiness. She is flowered at the end of every single branch and I am not her only admirer--the bees are out in force foraging and stealthly attending to each minute flower.
I inhale deeply and remember my first introduction to her--I was working at a nursery in Austin, barely pregnant with Niles, and the store had received a shipment of plants. Another coworker and I made a display right up front of the blooming kidneywood. I swore then and there that when I was able, I would make sure to make sure to include her in my future gardens.
And now I have 2. The deer used to browse her to the bones before all of the dogs, and now that we have what some would consider a pack, the deer rarely approach the yard.
The kidneywood beside the back porch isn't blooming as well as the one in the eastern garden. Seems she's pouting for some reason--could be the rampant peach looking plant that's using her as an arbor.
This morning, after the rains, the fledged wrens are calling for family out back, the fledged mocker kids are still begging from mama, and the cardinal males is a red flash of brightness in the dark green oak leaves.

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