Stirrings of spring

I was inundated with flowers. Memories of gardens bursting in the spring harassed me. Strange memories to surface, I thought.

Until I realized the date. My subconscious, used to annual spring outings to Filoli for flower photography this time of year, was poking me. It was time for me to soak in the flowers.

Yet, Filoli was a distant memory. All of my favorite haunts, places of annual pilgrimages for flower photography, were in the past.

Instead, I found myself wandering through the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in search of tulips—a month or so after I used to trek in search of them out West.

No such luck with the tulips today. But bits and pieces spoke from my past, placating my subconscious.

I was greeted with hyacinths, beautiful violet hyacinths. The colors, which caught my eye, were quickly followed by their divine smell. An image of a small, enclosed building with pot after pot of hyacinths—white, pink, violet—darted by, accompanied by memories of their fragrance.

Different magnolia trees dotted the grounds, drawing me back to various gardens of my past. Again memories, accompanied by smells wafting on the air, called to me. I lay down on my back under one, gazing up at the blossoms, letting magnolias from my past dart by and blossoms from the present fall around me.

I greeted the large gnarled dawn redwood that stood tall and majestic in the middle of lawn by the historic house. Another memory surfaced. The leaves were just budding, not out enough to greet them, as I traditionally do, with a handshake. Instead, I welcomed the tree this spring with a hug. Dawn redwoods I used to know flashed by.

I’ll be back in a few weeks, I promised the tree, to do a proper handshake with the new, tender leaves. The hyacinths will be gone, just another memory. The magnolias will have drifted to the earth. But the dawn redwood will be there with its leaves to invoke more memories.

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