Sunday, March 6, 2011

peeking under the leaves

It's been said that scent triggers our earliest memories.
The opposite seems true as well.
A recollection can flood our memory with scent.
As my husband flipped the pages of a gardening magazine this morning he suddenly recalled the spicy scent of marigolds in the fall sunshine as he played with toy cars as a boy. "It's not like nasturtium," he assured me, wrinkling his nose in disgust.
True to some obtuse law of marriage, I love nasturtium in an inverse proportion to my husbands dislike of them. Even their bitter scent is somehow appealing, so pungent and astringent.
Our neighbors always grew a wide, lush swatch of them along side their driveway in Blue River. I loved the fiery bright blossoms, so fragile and vibrant and large lily pad like leaves. They are fresh forever in my mind's eye.
Of course, what I really loved about them as a preschooler was actually something hidden from sight. Something under the leaves in the shadow, dozing on the damp, soft earth. Frogs! They were drawn to those cool shady mounds of flower. Many happy hours were wiled away frog hunting among the Petch's nasturtium plants.
I think I'll plant a mound of them for old time's sake at the far edge of the garden, as far from my husband's nose as possible. Maybe a frog will pause and rest a while. You'll see me peeking under the leaves when the summer sun is low in the sky.

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