The subtleties of spring have passed, ousted by mid-summer’s excesses.
I emerge into the garden and immediately my senses are assaulted. The hot, humid air carries a pandemonium of scents, confusing my poor nose. Which to focus on? To the right, the grandmotherly perfume of the gardenia. To the left, the pungent aroma of the bizarre bloom of the amorphophallus bulbifer. (Imagine the ripest stinky cheese you’ve ever had. Now imagine that it’s gone bad. That will get you close.) The perfume and the stench waltz together on the breeze.
Every blossom is under attack. The air is filled with the hum of bees and the fluttering of butterflies. A butterfly pauses, a rare treat. How often have I wished a butterfly would stop, just for a moment so I could immerse myself in its beauty? And here it is, in perfect light with a dramatic backdrop of color, and with a bee as its dining companion. It is rich with patterns and textures. An excess of beauty for something so fleeting.
A few steps away, the gardenia bush is covered in velvet-white flowers, swirling open in a dance of emergence. White yet richly textured; made whiter by the cloud of fragrance hanging amidst its branches. The white so white, like that friend who was so good, so pure that they were a little hard to take.
Heat and humidity. Color and motion. Perfume and stench. Buzzing and fluttering. A panoply of color and pristine white.
Glorious, isn’t it?