There are few scents more soothing and restorative to me than the perfume of Star Jasmine on a cool breeze. Growing up my family moved around a bit. And by a bit I mean a lot. The few people I know who moved around as much or more than I did as a kid are all military brats. But as I was entering 5th grade my family moved as a unit “just one more time” again. And that time it took. I lived in one town from my 5th grade year until the middle of my 12th grade year. In the 2nd home in which we lived in that town my parents built a front patio. And on the end of that front patio they built a lattice wall. And at the base of that lattice wall they planted Star Jasmine. My bedroom window, which led to a small section of roof, was directly above that porch and in the evenings when the world was a bit too much for my teenage self I would open the window and climb out onto the roof to sit and think and write and brood. And to inhale that sweet fresh scent as it wafted up. It was a reminder to me that the world really was a beautiful place. Even there in the suburbs that I loathed so much.
With no offense meant to my family and friends, that is what I missed the most when I moved away. The scent of Star Jasmine felt like home.
And so over the weekend while shopping for a screen door at the local hardware and garden supply superstore when I stumbled upon and awesome planter that was on sale for a reasonable price and clearly wanted to come home with us to live in my backyard, you’d think I would have automatically known what I wanted to plant in it. But it wasn’t until I walked out into the garden section to grab a bag of soil that I knew. I didn’t see the plant, but from an aisle away I picked up the soothing scent. It played on the breeze like a gentle melody and I had no choice but to wander the isles searching for the source, pluck it up, and place it into my cart.
Since the rain on Sunday was heavy and unrelenting I haven’t had the chance to plant it yet. And so it sits protected from the elements just inside my open sliding glass door. As the breeze flows through from the door to the living room where I sit working on the sofa I keep picking up the faint scent of Star Jasmine. Sadly being a houseplant in my care is like a botanical death sentence so I know better than to try to keep it indoors.
But I have hope that, left unchecked and untouched by my deadly hands, it will become the mighty plant I know it can be. Growing big and strong. Scenting the air I breathe and making my corner of the world a bit of a better place.
Of course, if it dies I can always got back to the store for another.
One thought on “wishing for a green thumb…”
This resonates so much with me. My parents also had a lattice with star jasmine going into our Vacaville house. I don’t think anything else quite makes me think of home the way that scent does. I still will stop short and look around to find the source whenever I catch a whiff of jasmine. The serendipity of coming a across it when I’m out and about is what I think I love most about the Spring. I may need to plant some myself….
Also, I remember climbing out onto your roof from your room, back in the days of teenage shenanigans.