Honeysuckle and a Hill

By seven as the sun peeks through a cloud-speckled sky, I go for a walk. The air is cool and damp from the gullywashers earlier. At two this morning, one storm came through, bringing rolling thunder and lightning. Then before four I awoke to the sound of hail pounding the roof. It brought me straight up out of bed. I did go back to sleep and dreamt I took a former neighbor’s beagle to a fair and lost it.

Seven weeks after surgery, it feels good to be back at significant exercise. By that, I mean a walk up the Fieldstone trail that gently inclines behind Wyndham Hill. Long steps, pull, breathe.

Wyndham Hill Trail

As I follow the curve of the trail at the back of Wimbledon, I breathe in the smell of honeysuckle. The air is heady with it, and it brings a smile. So many childhood memories of picking the blossoms, pulling the slender centers out, and sucking the “honey”…. Trees are still low and heavy with raindrops, and little wet crystals hang from the tips of every single pine needle. The trail follows Clarendon’s sidewalks, then goes over a little wooden bridge and curves to a quiet hill behind Wyndham. I’m walking alone this morning. The dog has made it clear that she is not about to climb that hill. The last three times I’ve taken her, she comes to an abrupt halt and about-face as we reach the first fence that defines Wyndham Hill. I tug one way; she tugs the other. She’s nine and balking for flat sidewalks, and I let her win.

Wyndham Trail

It’s June and soon the wooded patch along the trail will be filled with pink mimosa blossoms mixed in with the honeysuckle. More memories … of a childhood treehouse built in Nancy’s mimosa tree on the corner of Deering and Third. We sat up there on Dad’s old scrap boards nailed to tree branches and partook of the honeysuckle flowers that grew on a fence beside the tree.

Honeysuckle in Fieldstone Farms

The smells must be what I remember most from those good old days of childhood. They ease me back quicker than anything.


2 Comments on “Honeysuckle and a Hill”

  1. sarahemc2 says:

    I wonder if it is possible to have a proper childhood without honeysuckle? If people who grow up where it doesn’t twine around nearly everything, and who never know the hummingbird joy of drinking the tiny drop of nector from the stamen, pulled backwward out of the flower, can every really say, “When I was a child…” Maybe they have to call themselves something tougher, say “When I was kid…” or simply “Back in my day…” Honeysuckle seems as integral to childhood as tire swings and skinned knees.

  2. Sherry says:

    Maybe that’s my childhood trauma. I had loving, dedicated parents, but I didn’t grow up with abundant honeysuckle. How do I remedy that at altitude of 7000 ft? I used to love the perfume of Queen Anne’s lace on my grandpa’s farm in Kansas.

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