Thursday, June 5, 2008

just like home

those who know me understand that I'm prone to fits of homesickness. I am, at heart, a california girl. I miss big things about the state (ideas, expansion, creativity, inclusion) and I miss little things that made my home in california...well, californian: flowers year-round, sun streaming in windows, grilling and eating outdoors every night, the hum of automatic sprinklers, the scent of night-bloomers mixed with a hint of chlorine from the pool. I often feel like a big freaky fish out of water in traditional, upright virginia.

I do my best to recreate certain california experiences to soothe my soul (risking certain social shunning when I declared that I was making tamales for christmas dinner instead of virginia ham!). I have not had the best luck in my garden. virginia climate is lovely, but california it is not. I have planted agapanthas and gardenias only to watch them die a slow, brutal death under the old virginia trees.

jasmine is the exception. several years ago, I tried it out in the yard with no luck. last year, we built an arbor over the back door and I tried the jasmine again. it sputtered and stalled through last summer, but hung on. I was certain winter snow and ice would do it in. but it didn't! this year, the beautiful vine has reached and bloomed up the posts, over the arbor and is even reaching on to the adjacent arbor over the patio, mingling with the fairy lights.

last night, after a tiring day at work, I walked out back and was enveloped by the powerful, heady scent of my darling vines. the scent of home. I turned and saw that they were making their way up the back of the house, arms outstretched, reaching to give my virginia home a big california embrace.