Oh, I wish I could share the scent of these astonishing flowers with you. How the sense of smell conjures up such vivid memories and experiences. Hyacinths are the only flowers which provoke my mind to recall poetry. I’m not saying I don’t think of lines from poems in other circumstances. It’s just that hyacinths, specifically, start a passage of poetry in my mind every single time….in much the same way as a few notes of music will transport me back to a particular time and place.
Here’s what I hear in my head when I smell the hyacinths –
‘You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
“They called me the hyacinth girl.’
_ Yet when we came back, late, from the hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living not dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Do you know that poem?
I’ve never seen her, the hyacinth girl, her arms full and her hair wet, but I swear I have. Yet I couldn’t describe her to you. I’ve never seen her physically…and that’s what’s most interesting about this for me. I have a deep knowledge of seeing her, but I’ve never seen her. I have the feeling of the experience of seeing her, but I’ve never seen her.
But I have seen the hyacinths….and every time, they still my soul and I’m “looking into the heart of light, the silence.”