The Fragrance of Summer Beginnings


The months of  May and June are filled with celebrations that fill us all with memories  - of people dearly loved, some not with us and others with us still.  

It is said the element of fragrance can evoke a vivid memory more quickly than anything.  Within seconds of the scent of a flower and the mind is filled with faces and emotion. 

So it begins with the fragrance of May.

On the first Thursday of the month of May,  hundreds of citizens gather early in the morning at Harvey Convention Center in honor of National Day of Prayer and our Mayor’s Breakfast. The aroma rising from the Convention Center is mingled with the scent of a full course breakfast and the fresh scent of aftershave and perfume!  But wait, aren’t we told that our prayers are a sweet smelling fragrance? Many Christian’s are unaware that they live in a nation that has a law in place and a proclamation is usually issued from our President. 

May honors Mothers with a special day.  It greets us mid month.  My early childhood memories include the aromas drifting from Mama’s kitchen as she prepared a healthy breakfast for our family.  Mother’s wash or laundry day had its own unique fragrance.  The lined-dried (do I need to explain that) linens and clothes smelled so fresh; like ocean breezes.  The smell of the freshly washed and dried clothes was so invigorating to me as a child, and as an adult,  I still remember that scent.

The aroma of Mother’s hands was one of lotion and tenderness (can you smell tenderness?)  The fragrance of our house was captured when I lifted the latch on the white picket fence to enter the well -groomed yard (more like a garden). The scent of the freshly baked cookies greeted my sisters and me.  The cookie tray was an invitation to us to join Mama at the kitchen table to eat the cookies and discuss the day’s happenings at school. 

 My favorite flower blooms in May.  The magnificent Magnolia brightens the dark green foliage of the sturdy Magnolia trees of the south.  No flower is as white and fragrant as the Magnolia.  Is there any reason why I named my darlin’ little Maltese dog, Magnolia?

Then to wrap up the month of May, we catch the fragrance of Memorial Day?  Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was born out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead.  This is a day we pause to salute our various branches of Military and to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms!  Perhaps you are getting a whiff of the shoe polish on the freshly shined dressed boots of our soldiers or the carnations that grace the graves of those who gave their all.

 JUNE.  The month for brides and graduates and a time set aside to honor the fathers.  What a month!  Summer begins!  Mingled with the floral arrangements at the weddings and the smell of the seniors as they walk to the march to receive their diplomas or the smell of roses in the Tyler Rose Garden and the swimming pools in our yards we may get a whiff of yes, sweaty (no glistening) bodies in the summer’s heat.  We capture the aroma of summer in the South!

 Father’s Day reminds me of the fragrance of a cup of coffee.  Daddy brought coffee, mostly milk, to me every morning when I was only six years old.  What a Dad! He did this to wake me so I wouldn’t be late for school.  I developed a love for the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.  I’m not sure that I ever truly developed a love for the smell of the classroom.  Daddy’s treat continued until I had two little sisters that interrupted that special time.  Daddy’s reason was to have time to pray with me and to share the aroma of coffee that most Southerners love.  Oh, to have coffee brought to me now before I rise.  I am married to a “Mr. Coffey, ” but the brewing of the aromatic essence occurs when I rise to push the button on the Mr. Coffee Maker.

June 19th – Freedom Rings!  This holiday is known as Juneteenth and is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.  What does freedom smell like?  Freedom smells like wildflowers in spring, fresh ground coffee ... a breath of fresh air that lasts forever.  Freedom tastes like strawberry pie, all flavors of cheesecake and the morning dew upon your tongue.  Freedom tastes and smells like all the good things of the world.

There are so many holidays in June.  We could add another 30 days in June to celebrate each one, and we would need to add more days to those sixty.

 May and June – What Fragrant Months!

Let’s make an assignment.  Could we not leave the windows of our electronic devices and press hard against the window panes in our houses to catch a view of the fragrant blooms in our own back yards or better still could we take a walk through the fragrant gardens and as we walk could we not be reminded of those who have left a lingering fragrance in
our lives?


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