Saturday, April 30, 2011

Scented viburnum

Walking down Henry Street two days ago I sniffed the air. It smelled wonderful. I stopped, turned sniffed. Aross the street in the park where magnolias bloomed loudly up till a few days ago, I saw the distinctive pompoms of a viburnum. Four viburnums, actually, at least nine feet tall and wide. I have never seen them before, and it is obvious they weren't planted overnight. They have been there, blooming, year in, year out.

So this is one of my new finds of 2011. In addition to Norway maples, of course (thank you Janet), and all other trees that bloom greenly.

I think they are Viburnum carlesii.

I am tempted. Sorely tempted. A heist in the night. An armful of blooms. A roomful of scent. I noticed a woman doing just that yesterday, and I couldn't blame her, secretly snapping a stem. No one ever goes into that little park. Perhaps, if I am lucky, I will dream viburnum dreams.  Nights have been troubled. Rest has been elusive. Thoughts are on the march. At night they build bonfires by the road and hold war councils and show themselves in the firelight. Sometimes it is best to look away.

Then it is morning, and spring, and coffee, and blue sky, and the thoughts act like nothing happened and marshal themselves and make plans. Perhaps tonight they can agree on stealing viburnum. Tomorrow they'll pretend it wasn't them.
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