A Small Moment

What I see as I’m heading south toward the trees on Sherman just before the road goes over the freeway. I usually smile here, not just when the trees are blooming but because I’m not stuck on the freeway below.

At a certain point in late spring a couple of flowering trees on my usual route home fill the air with sweet perfume. They stand in a most unlikely spot on Sherman Avenue just north of the freeway overpass. Not a scenic location, not a spot where a lot of pedestrians pass by to appreciate their beautiful scent, not in a park or someone’s carefully planned garden. They stand in a planting strip between the sidewalk and the parking lot of a very small commercial building.

It’s a good spot for people on bikes, though, on a fairly quiet stretch that takes you to the bike lanes that begin a block south and run up the South Hill. In the 5-1/2 years we’ve lived in our house I have looked forward to their scent and enjoyed it as I ride home. I don’t notice it as strongly on the way to work because I’m on the other side of the street, so the scent represents not only a particular place but a particular moment in my day.

Their smell also reminds me of the honey locust trees that grew in the back yard of my childhood home in Lewiston. It was in one of those trees that my brothers built a treehouse so high up–and with no railing–that I look back in wonder at my free-range childhood and my mother’s willingness to let us run free, take chances, and have fun, an attitude I’ve tried to bring to my parenting.

This year I thought I’d somehow missed their flowering, which seemed odd. Riding home this week, though, I’ve realized they’re just blooming much later than usual because we had such a long, cold May and June. They are filling the air with perfume for me in the last two weeks I’ll ride this route before moving to Seattle.

Thanks for the goodbye present, Spokane.

A bit fuzzy since I’m holding a branch up and shooting them from underneath. These are the flowers that give me the gift of their perfume.

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3 Comments to "A Small Moment"

  1. Dana says:

    That moment of coasting after coming over the peak of a hill, seeing the different flowers bloom as the seasons progress and discovering new scents, country roads where all you hear is buzzing and chirps, being in the moment.

  2. Thanks for sharing your moment, Dana! It sounds lovely.

    A friend told me these are linden trees. I plan to plant some somewhere, someday, for someone to enjoy in the future in an unexpected moment.

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