Words of Wisdom:

"send me your pyrs" - Plaildloniart

Rose

  • Date Submitted: 08/03/2015 03:56 AM
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Childhood

Spring
Flower Pots
Spring brought with it the bathroom stink of fertilizer. I liked the heinie smell of the bonemeal that people put on the grass — another reminder that the bad thing (what you didn’t like)
was almost always good. I liked the terra cotta flower pots that people, including my mother,
used — the hole in the bottom of the pot, the little hump it left on the smooth dirt after you packed
the dirt inside the pot and turned the pot upside down, and gently, tenderly, pulled the pot up,
leaving behind, in the soil, the smoothly formed image of the interior of the pot. At the florist’s in
Kensico the pots were lined up in rows on the shelves, just as they appeared in the pictures of Mr.
McGregor’s garden in Peter Rabbit. As with so many other things, it wasn’t the pots themselves
that I liked, it was the pots and what was connected with them: the color of the terra cotta and the
rich, wet, dark, soft, dirt-smelling earth that went inside them and the flower that grew in that
earth and its smell and the organic smell of the greenhouse or neighbor’s potting shed (I seem to
recall one in the woods below Wall Ave.) — all this, plus the special clothes people put on when
they did gardening — wide-brimmed hat, overalls, gloves, workman’s shoes — was the meaning
to me of the words “flower pot”. The sound of the words were also part of it: “-ot”, with its abrupt
stop appropriate for something that was kept in a place like a workshop. The flowers that grew in
flower pots were only a small part of the story for me.
Spring also meant the return of the smell of fresh air, or so at least it seemed to me. The vanilla
smell (sometimes with a trace chocolate) of pure, fresh air, the smell of blue sky — I marvelled
that something from the world of Nature could ever smell so good. After all, Nature hadn’t been
designed for us. All through my life, this smell has made me think: well, you can’t say that everything is bad. And then there was the preparation of the...

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