It is, at last, the time of year when every window - each little glass pane – in the house at the bottom of the hill is filled with green. Jeweled, sun-dappled – emerald, jade, and lime. The evening air has an aqueous feel to it - as though one is moving, at all times, slowly and languorously underwater, the overhead leaves swaying delicately to moon tide and earth’s pull.
Iris time. The stems budded out, now, swollen and ready to pop, the thick, woody leaves crowding densely over the sandy ditch soil.
She goes out with tee shirt sleeves rolled and feet bare, toes grass- stained. Kneels by the iris bed and loses herself in the scent of weeds and grass, the crumble of dirt beneath her fingers, drone of honey bee, swoop of swallowtail.
Iris – possibly the sweetest scent in the entire known universe. Something like grape Kool-Aid, childhood, and grandma’s kitchen all balled together with lemon sun and dew-wet mornings.
On the evening of December 31st, she tucked 2016 beneath her arm and gingerly traversed the basement stairs, dodging a pair of roller blades and a saggy salt bag that had not yet made its way to the softener. A little short of breath already – 2016 was heavy – and hampered by the brush of cobwebs across her face, she lugged the Years Gone By box from the shelf and straightened the crick in her back before opening the lid.
A smell like pumpkin innards – Halloween – rushed out at her and the pop of July firecrackers made her sit back on her heels. Frogs leaped amidst poinsettia leaves and cicadas croaked in time with the 9th inning roar at Wrigley Field. Moldy tennis shoes reclined alongside graduation gowns, flip-flops slapped in time with the snow shovel scraping the sidewalk.
Darker things, perhaps, residing at the bottom of the box. House fires and hospital stays, the funeral stink of blood lilies.
She tossed 2016 in and quickly closed the lid.
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