Of Lavender and Maple Leaves

The Lavender plant and its flower represent love and devotion. Lavender flowers are also associated with purity, silence, and caution. The leaves from a Maple tree symbolize “to be reserved.”

Many of our saints were filled with those qualities. What a lovely reminder of their lives, spoken in the language of flowers, as we approach the celebrations of All Saints and All Souls.

Image by Margaret Rose Realy, Obl OSB. All rights reserved.

Scent of Heaven

Image by Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB. All rights reserved.

Next to the south wall of the screened porch is a small stand of Liliaceae ‘Golden Splendour’.  They are one of the few flowers remaining from last summer’s dig-out, when, because of arthritis, nearly all of my gardens were removed. This trumpet lily cultivar was introduced in 1957. It is tall—at nearly six feet—and the highly fragrant flowers are 7-10” long. It has been one of the pride and joys of my garden since it was planted in 1989. Twenty years ago a friend had taken a photo of me—standing proud at 5’ tall—beneath the canopy of blooms.

For about three weeks the racemes of trumpets slowly open from bottom to top, and the nectar furrows explode with scent. There is no mistaking it, as when the lilacs bloom, all the yard is perfumed.

When the air is still and humidity high the sweet aroma hangs dense. Through a few summer nights and early mornings I deeply inhale the sweetness and breathe my soul back into me. Like the scent of coming rain, it is a spiritual memory, an essence of God that awakens our sleeping hearts.

Image by Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB. All rights reserved.

When we become aware of a fragrance in the garden we follow our nose. Gently wagging our heads we find the direction and move towards the source. We seek from the air the origin of our delight.

The delight of the soul is sought in much the same way. We pick up the spiritual fragrance of peace and our souls move towards the source until we breathe deep the sweetness of Holy Love. And we remember—a brief return to Paradise.