Sweet and fair


I plucked a honeysuckle where The hedge on high is quick with thorn, And climbing for the prize, was torn, And fouled my feet in quag-water; And by the thorns and by the wind The blossom that I took was thinn’d And yet I found it sweet and fair.
Christina G. Rossetti

Sweet and fair—that is what the sight and scent of honeysuckle truly is—the precious thoughts its image conjures up from the storage of my treasured memories of childhood, often long forgotten or buried….
To see, to smell, to taste of the honeysuckle, plucked from a lazy summer afternoon…school is out, the days are long, bare feet, under the veil of a bright sun, puffy white clouds set against and azure blue sky. Breathing deeply, almost gasping for the heavy perfumed air.
I am free and at great peace. At this moment, is there anything better? To gently tear off the base of the honeysuckle’s blossom with one’s front teeth and suck out the tiny drop of hidden sweet…is this what the bees are fighting me for…how many blossoms must they visit?
This sudden rush of a the past is instantly palpable just seeing this wealth of vine growing on an old fence post—an overgrown growth of vegetation to the landowner—sweet innocent childhood to me.

3 comments on “Sweet and fair

  1. Val says:

    My mother’s mother’s father was kind of a nut for not wanting kids in his yard, so he made the place a bee’s paradise with lavender anf honeysuckle and clover and I don’t know what-all.

    My mother is not often brave, and fears stemming from things that happened to others became many deep-seated phobias that made my life growing up (and even sometimes now) challenging. My mother is terrified of bees because her next-oldest sister once stepped on one and was stung.

    I have absolutely no idea what these smell like. Anything that *might* attract bees was banned. We never even had honey in the house (perhaps unrelated, perhaps not…but I was a teenager before I knew what honey tasted like).

  2. sounds like summer childhood was not so wonderful–I am sorry. Honeysuckle is a warm floral perfume that is often detected first by the nose rather than by the eyes…

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