Sitting out on my deck the other afternoon, I saw the lilacs blooming in my backyard, the fruit trees blooming next door and the coreopsis blooming on the other side. I began to ruminate on just what is it about flowers that seems to have an appeal for most every one of us. It’s pretty universal. I mean, clear back to carvings on cave walls and hieroglyphics in the tombs, it seems to be indicated that flowers have always had a special place in the hearts of humanity.
Here’s my take on the question. For one thing, flowers attend to the senses. Both sight, smell and, with some, taste and tactile sensations. or with some combination of those elements. . They appeal to us with their visions of beauty and variety of size, shape and color. Since many of them titillate our sense of smell and some even titillate our sense of taste, it’s no wonder that flowers have become an important element in the human experience.
For another thing, if you think about it, I bet that you would find that flowers also connect you with various memories. The house we lived in when I was in Junior High School, had a row of amaryllis planted under both my bedroom windows. One scent of amaryllis and I’m right back there with all my 8th grade angst.
When I was about 8 or 9, I attended a wedding where the bride’s bouquet was made up of a fall of gardenias. I remember thinking that I had never smelled anything so beautiful as that bouquet. So, yep, when I smell gardenias, I immediately think wedding . . . which is what I requested for myself at both my children’s weddings. That childhood wedding experience also happened to be the first time I ever heard the song, “Always”. So there, I have a double whammy of memories.
For me, there is a magical element in driving down 99E through Los Molinos the Spring of the year. It’s like a fairyland of light and texture . . . if I can quit sneezing long enough to enjoy it.
Or, have you ever driven through an area of citrus orchards in the Spring? Oh, my goodness. Growing up with a HUGE grapefruit tree in the backyard, that scent immediately puts me back in my childhood backyard. . Citrus has to be one of the most delicately pungent scents to ever cross my nose.
During my teen-age years, we lived in San Diego county. My mother established a garden of dahlias. Everything from itty-bitty flaming blooms to dinner plate (and they were, literally, dinner plate size). The intensity of color and variation was just magical. A couple of years ago, I attended the Swan Island Dahlia Festival near Portland. I was so enamored with the variety of color and size that I immediately signed up for a couple hundred dollars worth of bulbs. When I got back to Redding, I looked at my yard, which consists of a rocky hillside. I assessed my love of gardening: non existent (about which I wrote in a former article); I immediately knew I had a Christmas present for my brother. Doesn’t keep me from being totally enthralled by dahlia blooms though . . . . at his house.
Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years.
A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes … she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.