“With immediacy and intensity, smell activates memory, allowing our minds to travel freely in time.”
- Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume
Went outside yesterday to say goodbye to the garden in winter. It’s so messy that at least it reminds me how industriously I once spent afternoons, and how swiftly nature moves to erase traces of the gardener. I pruned the wisteria alba on the leaning arbor. I managed to clean up the poorly swept patio area of an entire trash-can of pine needles, fallen leaves and other deadfall. The guys who come by every other Friday to blow away such detritus manage to simply blow it into corners where it accumulates – the closest I get to snow drifts in So Cal. (The picture is at the Chinese Garden in Huntington Gardens, Pasadena, CA. Taken on 12/31/09)
So, raking, then light watering in the last of the veggie garden and awoke the smells of the last survivors as well as those of the slow decay and return to dust that this season bring. There are no ants working industriously, no grasshoppers fiddling indolently, no bees survive to sip water from the shallow basins. Just me and the smells of a slumbering garden. Me and the pink flamingo, in its vanity managing to color-coordinate with the final mums.