Savoring now and anticipating Heaven…
The rhythm of the seasons amazes and comforts me from year to year as colors, temperatures and scents change according to their predetermined timetables. Springtime in my yard brings the tiny (and sorely neglected!) crocuses next to my driveway, followed by a stray daffodil or two. As this process starts, my dogwood tree is sprouting tiny little crowns which eventually become the centers of the trademark cross-shaped blossoms the dogwood is known for.
The month of May brings the opening of the peonies, one of my favorite flowers in the world. When we moved into our house, we inherited a long row of white double peonies that a previous owner had planted and cared for. I haven’t done much to them in the years we have lived in our home—I need to divide them so they will thrive and not die out.
These flowers have a short blooming season, a time I anticipate with joy each year. As lovely as the fluffy blossoms are to see, their fragrance is the most intoxicating thing about them. I fell in love with that aroma from the first time it entered my nostrils and lodged itself in my memory. It’s difficult to describe a scent, but the peony smells both sweet and earthy when it is in full bloom. Once I saw someone on television offering a perfume with the word “Peony” in its name, and I thought, “How wonderful that this essence has been bottled!” And I bought a bottle, only to find myself sorely disappointed. It smelled nothing like peonies at all. Some things just can’t be captured.
Now I realize that I just need to enjoy the beauty of the peonies and their heavenly fragrance during the brief time when they are in bloom. I can photograph their visual beauty to enjoy during the remainder of the year when they are dormant. As for that fragrance, I imagine that Heaven is filled with scents as lovely as the essence of the peonies…and in Heaven, that aroma is not limited by a Short Season.