Greenhouse Swoon

Greenhouse Swoon
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I walk into a greenhouse and I swoon.

I walk into a greenhouse to buy flowers and I swoon. The scents, the colors, the hanging plants, the trailing plants; they over whelm me. So beautiful, I say to myself. So beautiful.

I draw a deep breath. My body relaxes, I am transformed by aroma therapy. My body relaxes, I am calm. I say hello to everyone; one woman who pulls a wagon of bursting red geraniums, another who has found the perfect tomato plant, she carries a dozen in both arms. We are both in a summer trance. I can't resist a low bowl of smiling pansies in delicate hues of purple, pink and yellow. An entire carpet of them spreads before me. How to choose? When I was younger, I bought flowers that were guaranteed to last the entire summer. Now I've become a spendthrift. I live in the now. I know that pansies won't last; they can't take the summer heat. But they are glorious at the end of May. I put them in my wagon, two bowls for the price of one.

What a reward this glorious high ceilinged church of a greenhouse has given us, for surviving the long white and gray winter. We feel we shouldn't complain about this past winter, because it was, comparatively speaking, unusually mild. But it was dark from November to March. And the sun lay hidden for days on end. The long awaited spring seemed to jump into summer without time for a decent transition. The daffodils have already folded up, the tulips came and went, and the lilacs are bending their branches with their heavily scented weight.

I break off a lilac sprig and hold it to my nose, feeling it fill my lungs. I bend down to break off two slender stems of Lilies of the Valley. I think my mother had eau de cologne that smelled just like that. I wish I could get some now to dab behind my ears.

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