Friday, June 6, 2008

A Hot Day's Blessing

I am blessed with a gargantuan Magnolia tree that resides just outside my front door. She was here when we moved in many years ago, although much smaller then, and she has flourished in our Southern climate. She now shades three rooms at the front of our home. We even have another room that she provides under her branches where we often have lunch or morning coffee in our hidden little wonderland. We hang lights in her branches and lounge around an old table and chairs that sit under an enchanting candlelit chandelier. It is wonderful. But some of the most spendid provisions of this grand old lady are the magnificent blooms she bestows upon us every Spring. I’ve been eagerly, or greedily, awaiting the opening of two of her fragrant beauties for a couple of days and this morning.... here they were! Placed in an old Weller Woodland vase upon the kitchen table they scent the room with the most delicious lemony fragrance. I love looking at them, smelling them, and I also love the sound they make when they open and all their little insides tumble out onto the table. You have to be there at just the right time, but they make the tiniest little sound when they fall. It’s a treat to hear.

by Mary McNeil Fenollosa

O flowers of the garden, of skilled and human care,
Sweet heliotrope, and violet, and orchid frail and fair,
Pour out your love to happier hearts; the woodland flowers for me,
The pallid, creamy blossoms of the dark magnolia tree!

I close my eyes; my soul lifts up to float with their perfume,
And dull the body lying in this narrow city room.
Again I am a happy child. I leap and joy to see
The great curved petals wavering slip from out the gleaming tree.

As holy grail, or pearl inwrought, or carven ivory cup,
They stand on bronze and emerald bough, and brim their sweetness up;
And underneath a happy child! --- O days that used to be!
In distant land, the flowers still stand upon the dark green tree.