My youngest daughter will be moving in July.

She’ll live on Hyacinth Road.

I remember the pink, blue, and white hyacinths that bloomed the spring after the fall when my dad planted 100 bulbs ordered directly from Holland. He was so excited. He carefully planned patterns of flowers around the pink dogwood tree so that when the dogwood was in bloom, the bulbs would also burst into color. I remember that spring so vividly. He was so happy and kept asking my sister and I to stand by the flowers and have our picture taken.

I could tell he also felt nostalgic for the time he spent in Holland in 1941, having been reassigned there when it was no longer safe in Munich, Germany. I wish I had asked him what season it was when he moved to Holland. Could he have seen the miles and miles of fields of flowers? The years 1939-1942 were the defining years of his life and laid the foundation not only for his career, but also for his spiritual life. His next assignment was Kentucky. His time in the “hollers” of Kentucky added another layer of richness to his appreciation of people and places.

The pink and blue and white hyacinths were the colors my mother always wore, mostly blue until she was 70. After that, she was more often drawn to pink. My mother always wore the soft, gentle colors that matched her quiet softness. That is not to say she lacked strength. Perhaps she, like the pink and blue hyacinths, had to have a resolute determination when placed next to King Arthur daffodils and scarlet tulips.

The fragrance of hyacinths shouts spring.

I can almost smell them now.

12 thoughts on “March 3, 2017

  1. Ah, what a lovely, lovely SOL. Around this time last year, I found a perfect mentor text that helped me figure out how to write one of these things — it was my first year.

    This year, this is the one! Beautifully layered, in about 500 words, I imagine.

    Thank you so, so much for this one. It brought me a LOT of joy to SEE your grandmother! 🙂

  2. What a breathtaking image of 100 blooms and the riot of color. Thank you for this floral glimpse into your family history. Funny how a simple street name can take you back.

  3. The contrast between your father and mother comes through in the words you choose to describe them. I imagine a gentle giant of a man and a quiet, joyful, nurturing mother. Thank you for painting the picture.

    1. I hadn’t intended that the contrast show, but so interested that you could see it. You nailed it for my dad; my mother was a little more understated than you imagined, but in her way, quietly nurturing. Thank you for responding!

  4. As I started reading and got to the 3rd line and “my dad…” I thought, Oh good. I love the stories about your dad! And you did not disappoint – another beautiful story inspired by a name and layered with flower colors and weaved through history. I wish you could talk to him too and ask with the things you now wonder about. But so glad your memories are clearly captured here for me to enjoy.

  5. I was so touched by this “Slice.” You brought forth beautifully the description of your father. It made me recall so much about my father even though he never ever planted a flower 🙂
    I just found it so touching.

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