Monday, April 8, 2019

Fond of Forsythia

Capri23auto via Pixabay
The forsythia are in bloom. This, to me, signals spring.

It also brings back memories. When I was a child, we had a forsythia bush in our back yard and, if memory serves, I brought a bounty of cut-off branches wrapped in foil to my teacher on more than one occasion. We moved from that house when I was eleven, and while I don't remember what was in the back yard at our next house, I remember the forsythia in the back yard and the azaleas that lined the front walk at our house on Pitman Avenue and think of them fondly every spring.

Fast forward almost thirty years. When my daughter was three, she attended a local Montessori school for a time. Our drive to that school was a little longer than the drive to daycare she was used to and, once the forsythia began blooming, I'd point them out to her. This quickly turned into a game where each of us raced to "discover" the forsythia before the other -- a game we played every spring for a long time.

These days, when I see forsythia, I feel a pang of missing my daughter. A college student now, she's thriving in a life of her own, but that doesn't stop me from texting her. "Forsythia!" I type and hit send, missing her just a little more than usual in that moment, wishing she were here in the car with me to find the next blooms before I even see them. Good daughter that she is, she plays along, texting me back an emoji or a smart aleck comment to make me laugh.

It's funny how a simple flower can elicit so many memories. Indoor aficionado that I am, I can't tell you the names of most flowers, but the bright flash of yellow forsythias will forever bloom in my heart, reminding me of family and signaling an optimism that only spring can bring.

manfredrichter via Pixabay

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