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Honeysuckle Memories

After dropping the kids off at school this morning, I turned my bike in a different direction and took a new route, weaving up and down, curving, pedaling my way through the mist, feeling the dampness curling my hair, and clinging to my skin.

Lost in thought, I pedaled and pedaled, not really paying attention to what was going on around me, I came around one curve and was immediately swamped by a scent from my past.

As I swooped around the curve, I was surrounded by the smell of honeysuckle and immediately whisked back in time.

Back to my Granny’s honeysuckle lined chain link fence.

honeysuckle vines

Back to childhood.

Back to bare feet, freckled faces, homemade ice cream, Granny’s tea, and the absolute confidence and knowledge of being loved.

Granny had a chain link fence that ran the length of sidewalk from her garage to her back door — woven through every link, peeking through every free space were twisting, turning, verdant vines of honeysuckle. Their white and yellow petals reaching towards the sun, and their heady scent permeating the whole of her backyard.

Hundreds of moments of my childhood were spent sitting with my brothers next to that fence plucking honeysuckle, pulling out the end and sucking on the nectar inside. My brothers and I would make up stories while we sat next to the honeysuckle, we’d pluck it and put it in baskets, all the while pretending we were explorers in a fierce jungle and the only thing keeping us alive was the honeysuckle.

The memories were always there, it’s not that I’d forgotten those moments, but it took a detour, a wet morning, and an unexpected scent to bring those memories flooding back.

Tomorrow, I’ll take my kids on a walk and introduce them to honeysuckle, and while we sit sipping nectar, I’ll share stories of their mom and uncles, and Granny’s fence, and perhaps we’ll be inspired to find a place at our own home to plant our own honeysuckle.

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