Thursday, February 03, 2011

television, horse, robin

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Every year at about this time I smell the same powerful scent as I walk through Belgrove - the little footpath between The Grove and Little Mount Sion. At first I  used to think to myself somebody has been riding here or keeping  a horse, because that is what the smell suggests, the sweet smell of straw and steamy  animal breath. But I know that it is not horse but a shrub  of the boxwood family, which grows in one of the front gardens.  It has small white flowers which you might not notice apart from the scent, and rather ordinary dark blue berries. Its flowering season, about now,  is timed to coincide with  the seasons of its original central Asian habitat, rather than our own winter. My flower book gives, as one means of recognising it, the fact that you smell it before you see it. Every year at about this time I smell it and realize that I have forgotten its name, and have to look it up again. Fortunately there is  now a mark in the book, so I don't have to go through a prolonged page-turning process. There it is Sarcococca. Now I shall remember it and perhaps write a song about it to imprint it even more deeply in my memory.

This afternoon, I hear it before I can see it. I know what it is and where it is. Because I heard and saw it the other day - a robin in the same tall holly tree with variegated leaves at one of the entrances to The Grove. Profiled against the sun it is singing its heart out.

1 comment:

CC said...

All making sense and scents.