I remember thinking how curious it was that one of the symptoms of COVID-19 was a loss of the sense of smell.
I realized today that a walk in a springtime garden will quickly let you know whether you have that symptom. I am going to name some spring flowers that have a distinctive aroma and, even if you do not have these plants blooming in your garden right now, I am certain you will have a vivid memory of their scent.
Lily of the Valley
The scent of these plants as I have been walking home this week cheers me as I pass by my neighbours’ gardens. I breathe in, deeply grateful for this reminder of the constancy of natural cycles, grateful that I can cross off loss of the sense of smell from my personal COVID-19 symptom checklist.
The lily of the valley will be gone from the garden within a week. The lilac may last two weeks, if we’re lucky, and the peonies are also gone within a week. If you have several varieties of peonies in your garden, they may bloom at different times, filling your world with their luscious pink frills and sensuous perfume for a month.
When they are in season, I will try to capture their loveliness, putting a bouquet in a crystal vase, but once cut, they are even more ephemeral, wilting within a day. Ephemeral comes from the Greek words that mean “lasting a day”, although no dictionary has an image of any of these flowers with the definition.
Why are those things that do not last so beautiful?