Friday, February 6, 2009

Close Your Eyes

Tonight, after serving a fancy dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches, grapes (the best I've tasted this season, bought today at Sam's Club), and leftover spaghetti and meatballs, I was straightening up the kitchen. Brad came in and said, "Close your eyes."
I did.
Unfortunately, I was distracted by some clattering behind me, and I opened my eyes too quickly and ruined his surprise. If I had resisted the urge to peek just two seconds longer, I would have been intoxicated.

Nothing on earth is more fragrant or more beautiful than a gardenia. Its smell permeates everything. Especially one just picked from your own garden.
Gardenias are difficult at best to keep alive in this inferno we call home. They are native to acidic, humid, temperate climates. Hawaii. The Deep South. But Brad spent countless hours building a shady arbor and preparing and mixing and adjusting the soil balance for these temperamental beauties. Because he loves me. And he knows I love gardenias.
My sole responsibility in the entire process is to acidify the soil every two weeks, which I do religiously (religiously as in Orthodox, not like Reformed).
This is the first bloom of the season. And it looks like I have more to come!

My sense of smell conjures memory--
Horse equals Dad.
Diesel exhaust is downtown Paris in March.
Antiseptic equals hospitals and giving birth.
Gardenia is Prom 1987, the first time my sinuses ever processed that aroma.

Jeff May appeared at my door, acrylic box in hand, ready to introduce me. From the second the box was opened, I was enchanted. I turned my head periodically all night to reacquaint myself.
And I never forgot.
Epiphany #33--Some things just can't be artificially duplicated.
Too bad scent can't be blogged.


  1. You have quite a husband in Brad. What a lucky girl you are.

  2. Oh my gosh I love gardenias and they are my favorite too. I have tried to grow them and never have found the secret.....Your lucky I mayhave to come sit in your yard and just smell them and go to heaven....

  3. What a great post, and what a great husband you have. You're lucky! And, because I'm holding Max precariously, I'll comment on your other one too. Loved the pics of the clock you attempted to kill. I HATE alarms going off, there is nothing more traumatic to sleep. Sorry your got ruined.

  4. Your mother gave my mother a copy of this blog. I read it with interest!! :) What a beautiful family. It is nice to see that you are doing well. I still remember that wonderful Prom of 1987.