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Archive for the ‘memory’ Category

The dried seed head of Allium cristophii is the size of a small cantaloupe. In bloom, the silvery violet florets create a globe atop a single stem that bears a strong resemblance to stars.  The common name of the bulb is Persian onion or “Star of Persia.”

Dried, the flowers that formed the sphere give way to a multitude of spokes, each ending in a star-shaped array that nestles a tiny niche of seeds within.

One such seed head resides in my office.  Dust is caught in its starry arms, even as its seeds quietly wait.

This seed head was once a magic wand in the hands of my youngest. I remember the last wish he conferred before he grew up and blew away in the autumn wind. That was years ago.

Only the wind can restore magic to this wand, and the seed wishes that remain. Stepping outside, leaves impatiently rustle under foot, the wind is high under a grey sky. I ruffle the seed head. The spokes break, the seeds are released from sleep to continue their long-lost journey, and the stem drops to decay.  Last wishes.

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About 4’ in height, the garden spinner has three wheels of descending size.  Polyester ribbons affixed to each wheel were once brightly colored.  The flag at the base of the spinner, a stitched red ladybug atop a green leaf, points to the direction of the wind.

For the last 20 years, the spinner has held court in the corner of the summer vegetable garden using the breeze, or the winds blustering through, to proclaim its presence. A gentle breeze moves the largest of the wheels first.  A thunderstorm madly propels all three. 

The spinner delighted young children playing in their sandbox or tending the garden. It gaily provided ornamentation at their high school Open House celebrations.  And it stands now, bereft of color, but still fit, in its garden corner.

The spinner has welcomed and harvested the winds of two decades.  It awakens in the Spring, grows quiet as Summer goes to ground in Autumn, and dreams away the Winter in the garage.

At first glance, it is now a tired old spinner whose day has passed.  Is it an artifact too long held for its memory?  While it enjoyed its sunny days, the bluster that overtook this place blew away its color and its more nimble nature.  Visiting this summer, my oldest remarked on its longevity and rightful place in the garden.  Just now, a puff of air moved its wobbly wheels, as it easily pivoted to reveal the direction of the unseen quality that powers it.

The spinner remains.  As stalwart as the day I assembled its plastic and polyester pieces, it fulfills its purpose to translate what is unseen to the visible world.  Not as pretty, but still a structural, kinetic marvel that defies a date with the landfill.

Things change, and sometimes, things remain.

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