I can liken it to the walk of a dog. Walk, walk, walk then abruptly stop, step back, nose in the air to figure the direction of the wind pulling the scent into a widened olfactory sense- That's me with honeysuckle. And maybe we have all walked down the street with someone who walks and stops for a moment behind, to tie a shoe or look in a window and I imagine for my walking companions, it's that moment of, "oh esther's not beside me anymore" with a double take, looking back to see my head cocked looking for the source of the fragrance in the air.
I discovered my affinity for honeysuckle when i was young. When i lived in East Philly, there was a huge shrub/bush/tree of it growing at the end of the block. I walked out of my way to smell it if i was outside for anything. And moving back to [real] Philly, I had no clue how prevalent the honeysuckle trees were until walking around again in June/July of last year. I became obsessed with finding the honeysuckles in Philadelphia and literally opened my nasal passages each time my feet stepped on the cement. They are all over the city, pulling me into alleys and gardens, behind brick walls, pressed up against wrought iron fences....
So, i'm waiting for the bus after something benign like buying a bulk quantity of toilet tissue, and i looked to the overpass of I-95. Honeysuckle tree. I did not smell it although I waited at that bus stop many many times. I did not notice the sight of it prior. I walked to the tree to assure I was seeing what i saw because I still could not smell the splendid redolence I had expected from the honeysuckles. I reached up to a low hanging branch and pulled a group of buds from the tree and the moment they were in my hands the perfume filled me. i rubbed the buds on my hands to have specks of the purloined florets fall between my fingers and walk back to the stop at which i waited again for the bus to return home.
I stood and looked along the side of the overpass and noticed the line of honeysuckle trees extended as far as my eye could see in both directions. (The highway and street curve, so we're talking about a three block stretch - not miles until the horizon.) But, I stood there perplexed and pressing my memory why it was that when the honeysuckles are so distracting to me, it appeared a sensual anomaly, that this massive display of pleasance would go unnoticed.
And then I thought about the honeysuckle - these specific honeysuckle trees. The ones masked by the noise of traffic and smell of exhaust and I realize that sometimes it occurs that there are things that we know give us pleasure, but we disregard because we can't be bothered to work through the noise or stink.
And then I'm faced with something noisy and stinky in my life that i work so hard in which to find the lovely - that one little pleasurable thing that makes the noise and stink bearable.
This morning I'm struggling to figure out which is easier. I suppose it does not matter because regardless of the stench, the lovely always presents itself with a resplendence.
Someone once said to me, "In a world that stinks, I don't have to."
The world does stink. And, whether it's involuntary or a conscious search, I do look for the things that do not.