So many mayflowers grew there when I was a child, we could smell them walking and cycling the winding road to and from school, wooded on both sides for a good stretch. Even driving through, all you had to do was roll a window down and you would smell them. The fragrance hung in the air.
My sisters and brothers and I loved the mayflowers of Mayflower more than anyone else around, and I’ll tell you why. Our best mayflower picking spot was just beyond the field at the back of our house in a shady glade near the edge of the blueberry patch. Every year, we would raid the spot, and bring to my mother fat bouquets of mayflowers for her birthday on May 3rd. Not just one bouquet, but one from each of us. One from Marie, one from Guy, one from me, one from Zelée, one from Ann. We brought the four younger ones into the ritual as they grew.
We’d all come barging in the house at the same time, mayflowers extended
toward Mother. Every time, she would react the same way. She would put
her hands up to her cheeks, open her eyes wide as though surprised, and say,
“Oh! Mayflowers! They are so beautiful! Oh, let me smell them!”
One by one, we’d thrust our bunch up to her nose. Taking each bouquet from us, eyes closed in ecstasy, she would take long, deep inhaling breaths over each gift.
Rummaging the pantry for drinking glasses and mason jars, one for each
bouquet, she would exclaim,
“These are the best gifts you could ever have
given me! The best gifts in the whole world I could ever receive for my
birthday! You are such good children!” Well, didn’t that make us buttonbusting
proud of ourselves.
She would line the mayflowers in a row on the upper ledge of a kitchen window facing East to allow the morning sun to lay brightly on the pink petals, and to shine through the bottoms of the water-filled containers like sparkling crystal. They were a beautiful sight. Mom, and Dad too for that matter, admired and clucked over them the whole week. Now, Mother’s Day, as our incredible luck would have it, was just one short week later. The mayflowers then, of course, were even pinker, and more plentiful and fragrant than the week before.