§5 Flowers For Remembrance
Paul V. D. Hoysradt
There would always come a spring Sunday when, on her way home from church, our mother would pause by the front yard and then enter the house with a smile: "The snow drops and crocuses are out!" she would announce. Immediately, we children had to pile out of doors and see that scattered display for ourselves - those lowly things which were the first to brave the winter's cold. No wonder we rejoiced. They were the first of the long, colorful procession of flowers which appeared at our place during the pleasant months that followed.
Soon afterward came the various narcissi and daffodils literally "tossing their heads in sprightly dance" and making us sorry "to see them haste away so soon. Next, the tulips, row on row, would flaunt their reds and yellows and mauves at us. And then the magnolias! I slept where fragrance from the big pink tree drifted heavily through my windows and each year made me aware that the warm days were once more at hand.
After that there was no end to the glory of our garden. Lilac time was followed by a gorgeous riot of iris and peonies. Then the roses began their all-summer blooming. As fall drew near, the phlox would fill the garden with its spicy scent, and gladioli stood in stately, variegated rows.
Through this procession my mother moved, from spring to fall, in perfect harmony. Early in the morning she went out with gloves and shears, and soon returned with an armful of loveliness. Her vases and jars were set at just the right intervals through our home, and callers were always loud in their praises. I have never found anybody who surpassed her skill at arrangement.
The time came soon enough when we children had to leave that beauty spot. As the years passed, our paths branched farther and farther apart. Still it is strange how, even today, when a letter arrives from South America, Canada or the Midwest, a single sentence can conjure up the past and bring the old place with its flowers, all before me. And until the present time the fragrance of a single rose has the power to bring again before my eyes the gardens of home.
I don't believe Mother ever dreamed of how much she gave us to remember.