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Monday, May 14, 2012

Honeysuckle and Dreams

One of my favorite memories of childhood were the flowers of spring and early summer.  The Farnsworth house in Chambersville had lilac bushes, the old fashioned rose bushes that bloomed on and off all summer, day lilies, self seeding larkspur, four o' clocks and honeysuckle vines trailing over some sort of low growing tree.  I loved to pick a few lilacs and some honeysuckle to put behind my ears.  What a wonderful aroma would encircle my head.  And then I could suck out some of the sweet nectar of the honeysuckle just to make the experience complete.

There is a curve in Hwy. 39 south of Aurora named Honeysuckle corner.  When Gene was a kid the sides of the hill along this curve were covered with honeysuckle.  Even in the 80's honeysuckle covered the area.  When in bloom, you could smell the honeysuckle as you approached and rounded the curve.  Road improvements eliminated most of the honeysuckle.  So gone is the sweet, sweet sensation and what remains is the memory.

Of course honeysuckle can become invasive and an irritation.  I did not care about these potential problems when I planted honeysuckle to scale a lattice placed on our fence near our bedroom.  That was in the spring of 1995.  This special honeysuckle was to bloom multiple times each year, unlike the "wild" variety.  There was honeysuckle of the old fashioned variety planted to disguise the first compost pile we made here at 3871.  Neither variety produced blooms in the profusion of the old plant at the Farnsworth house.  The compost pile was moved a few years ago.  The old fashioned honeysuckle became part of the composted material.

This morning about 7:45 I went into the backyard to do an hour or two of work.  I spent probably 6 to 7 hours in the backyard trimming, shaping and transplanting various plants.  I have 3 huge piles of removed vegetation to be carried away.  The trimmings from the knot garden plants are not even raked together.  And there is still more stuff needing to be trimmed.  Yikes!  Will I ever get this yard back in shape?!?  I will not allow myself to become overwhelmed with the vision.

Today the reblooming (that never did rebloom and had almost no blooms this year) honeysuckle was the object of an electric trimmer.  When the vines became too thick for the trimmer, lopping shears and pruning shears were used to tear down the honeysuckle.  The metal lattice prevented a complete removal of all the stems.  I will need a couple of other tools to get the lattice down to complete the job.  There may be a few sprigs of honeysuckle left to soften the edges of the "hog panel" arch along that area or maybe not.

I guess that just as you cannot ever really go home, memories of childhood cannot be recreated.  Maybe the sweet smell was not as sweet as in my memory.  Maybe the blooms were not as prolific as I remember.  So as with the many dreams and hopes in my life that I have let go, one more was let go today, the dream of the smell of honeysuckle wafting into my bedroom window.  The honeysuckle dream gave way to the joys of my reality:  my good husband, son, grandsons, sisters, mom, mother in law, extended family, friends and a terrific new knee!

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