Growing up there was a shady corner in front of the shed, just outside of my bedroom window, that was full of lilies of the valley.  They bloomed in May in Rhode Island, I think, and I remember my mom insisting I look at them and smell them and appreciate them.  I’m not entirely sure I did appreciate them then, but I do now.  I don’t have the right kind of damp shady corner these guys like, and so they are in a dry shady spot under the hydrangeas out front.  No matter – they bloomed.

Last night I sat on the couch and the living room smelled like perfume from the lilies of the valley and the lilac.  I closed my eyes and just sniffed, remembering the garden in Kingston and all the springs I have smelled.  Then I noticed a weird sour note as I sniffed, and opened my eyes to the pair of small stinky sweat socks on the couch beside me, and the small bare feet careening through the house.  I left the socks on the couch, but took the boy out to appreciate the lilies of the valley.  Or not.

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