I was recently met (possiblylured) by a sweet breeze in the walking of my West Main Street trail. The sugary source was the blooms of the great magnolia trees adjacent to The Wednesday Club’s home. Its great lower limbs touched the ground, then arched up, looking even sittable and suitable for children to imagine a horse ride. Opposite those blooms in the boughs, lay one shattered on the ground—shattered because it was all there, just disassembled. Petals were browning like unrefrigerated Mother’s Day orchids. I picked up one, leaf-sized, holding it to my nose, but almost no fragrance was left. Perhaps its death came, not from time passed, but when all of its allotted scent was dispersed.
Continuing on Main Street, I encountered more magnolias. Their creamy flowers made me think that if I took a bite, I would taste vanilla. Man’s closest relative, the chimp, relishes flowers, but I decided not to ape him that day. Walking on, a different perfume came from giant bushes on both sides of the bridge over Highway 86. Though living, the pale green, waxy leaves had the smell of a massive, dried boutique arrangement.
Soon, I reached the perfect garden. Although a yard, it was beautiful like European gardens that are often fenced or walled in. This one, in true American spirit, was out front for all eyes to enjoy. Although clematis climbed a lanterned pole and there were a couple of great flowered urns, the central theme was green, a green rainbow. It consists of the richest grass, succulent ivy (I once told the owner that with the appropriate dressing it almost looked edible.), variegated plants (some ghostly pale), decorative grassy plants, great hanging ferns, hinoki cypress, boxwoods, and above everything, the sky-filling green of a massive pin oak. There was also a fountain consisting of a figure pouring water into a birdbath. Overlooking from the porch was the statue of a rabbit like a Golem placed to prevent the living members of its species from trespassing to cause mayhem. The whole scene was perfectly composed. In that entire garden, I saw only the slightest evidence of death in the form of a few, fallen, withered clematis blooms. In their dying, however, they evinced respect for a special place by having seemingly fallen in symmetry.