dVerse Poets Pub – Haibun Monday #40

I was not going to write to this prompt as I am taking a leave away from dVerse temporarily.  This is a lovely prompt – summer.

Gardenia Memories

Summer. Not my favorite season but still, I eagerly await its arrival and give a huge hurrah when it has changed into autumn. But still…I enjoy sitting on my back steps or porch at night. I love the summer nights, even when they are hotter than the inside of a cow. The rich aromas that perfume the night. Right now I am being inundated with magnolia, honeysuckle, and the honey sweet of the gardenia at the end of the house. The smell of gardenia on the night air always takes me back to my childhood and young womanhood. I was an iffy sleeper and still am. When I was a child, teen, and young woman, I would often sit at my bedroom window inhaling the smells and reading by starlight. We had gardenia bushes all around the house and one in particular was right below my bedroom window. We always had bowls of them around the house – fragile cream colored blooms floating in water.

Last night I was doing my usual step sitting when my husband came out to join me. He had my violin in his hands. “Here. You haven’t played in awhile.” “And looking after my mother, when have I had the time?” I told him testily. “Well, you have time now.” He set it down beside me and went back into the house. After a bit, I picked it up and began to play. I played a song for the stars, the gardenias, the bunnies grazing in the clover a few feet away from me, and I played for my mother. I didn’t realize I was crying until I felt my chin getting slippery. I put the violin down and put my head on my knees, wrapping my arms around myself. My mother died a week ago; she died in her sleep. I wept until I could weep no more. I stood and inhaled one last deep breath of the gardenias and then went into the house.

gardenias perfume
the night air – faded blooms
fall to the ground

free public art

39 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Grace
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 15:31:08

    Very moving personal share Toni ~ The smell of gardenias, the memories, the music- I weep with you. Hugs and take care ~


  2. paul scribbles
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 15:34:55

    Beautiful. Smart husband you got there.


  3. Victoria C. Slotto
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 15:54:26

    You give me chills and the threat of tears. This is such a tender touching write, enriched by so many sensory details…especially scent. I am in awe of the haiku. I also grew up in a world of gardenias.


  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 15:56:35

    Love this Toni, the scent the, the violin and those memories coming together. I think you needed that violin..

    Our garden is filled with the scent of mock-orange… very very intense and great. But the smell I associate most with summer is elder bloom.


  5. Jane Dougherty
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 16:12:36

    This is beautiful, Toni, and so moving. You’ll remember gardenias forever, I expect, and the music you played.


  6. alisonhankinson
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 16:30:30

    Love to you. I think this is a beautiful tribute to your mother. XXXX


  7. sarahsouthwest
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 16:37:20

    Oh, Toni. so sad, so beautiful. Music is so powerful, and it sounds as if you needed a proper cry.


  8. Beverly Crawford
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 16:42:03

    Thank you for sharing your very personal story. It was touching, and I could almost hear your violin serenade.


  9. Bryan Ens
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 18:04:38

    Toni – this is, perhaps, my favourite of anything that you have written. So much honesty and vulnerability in this. Your love for your mother is evident, and perhaps that violin playing time was one small step in moving through the grief process…(I won’t say healing, although there is still some sort of recovery and “new normal”…eventually). My wife lost her dad a couple of summers ago…and not a day goes by, I think, that she does not still miss him fiercely. You are in my thoughts and prayers…and it sounds like you have a good husband by your side who will walk this journey with you.


  10. Sue Vincent
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 18:26:35

    I am so sorry, Toni.
    The love that placed the violin in your hands allowed love to grieve in beauty.
    Hugs from me and Ani xx


  11. nosaintaugustine
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 18:44:59

    I am so sorry for your loss. What an indescribably sad haiku, but it is the perfect complement to your prose.


  12. frankhubeny
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 21:37:03

    Wonderful remembrance of your mother.


  13. Sascha Darlington
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 22:01:40

    A beautiful haibun. A wonderful tribute to your mother.
    I’m sorry for your loss.


  14. Sumana Roy
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 22:57:03

    So sorry for your loss. Nothing can fill this void.
    The comforting touch of gardenias in our joy and sorrow is a balm…A beautiful Haibun.


  15. lynn__
    Jun 27, 2017 @ 00:00:20

    My sympathy and prayers for you, Toni. Music and beauty are comforting gifts…God’s peace be yours.


  16. Feelings and Freedom
    Jun 27, 2017 @ 02:02:00

    Such a heart touching haibun! Nothing can soothe the pain caused by loss of one’s mother. It’s an irreparable loss. But I’m sure that music and gardenia will always keep the sweet memories alive. May her soul rest in peace!


  17. kim881
    Jun 27, 2017 @ 02:40:53

    No beautiful, Toni, and so moving. I was there with you, breathing in the gardenias, listening to you play the violin and thinking of my mum too.


  18. Singledust
    Jun 27, 2017 @ 17:35:33

    I am glad for the violin and the hands and heart that was moved to bring it to you, you did write about taking care of your mother before and thank you for sharing your sadness here, once shared it becomes a little lighter. I am glad that summer turns into autumn and all that time can heal. Be blessed Toni, remember the good for she does too.


  19. Victoria Young
    Jun 27, 2017 @ 19:47:07

    sorry to hear about your mom, Toni. This is a beautiful post. I love gardenias and now I want to pick some and float them in a bowl.


  20. revivedwriter
    Jun 27, 2017 @ 20:33:25

    I’m glad you wrote this. It’s beautiful and delightfully descriptive.


  21. Kathy Reed
    Jun 28, 2017 @ 06:37:12

    Tears were needing to flow and your music brought them out…thanks for sharing, Toni. I am sorry for your loss.


  22. Imelda
    Jun 28, 2017 @ 11:08:26

    My condolences to you and your family. May your mother rest in peace.

    It’s a beautiful, poignant image you made here – the music, the scent, the moment .


  23. frankhubeny
    Jun 28, 2017 @ 16:19:54

    The second paragraph was a very nice remembrance of your mother. The recollection of your childhood in the first paragraph and the haiku framed that paragraph well.


  24. merrildsmith
    Jun 28, 2017 @ 19:49:41

    Oh my goodness, this was so beautiful. It made me cry, too. The image of you playing your violin to the stars, the universe, to life and loss–and to your mother. I’m so sorry for your loss.


  25. whippetwisdom
    Jul 02, 2017 @ 13:20:50

    This is beautiful Toni and the haiku is out of this world. I am so sorry for losing your mother twice. First the mother you knew and loved was taken by illness and now she has physically gone to a place where her spirit can rest and soar. Please give yourself plenty of time to rest, mourn and heal. Sending you big hugs, also from Eivor and Pearl xxx


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