Here’s my first perennial of the season… a purple hyacinth. It is beautiful- I only wish you could take a whiff of it’s fragrant aroma.
I love hyacinths for many reasons. Even though I was surrounded by flowers when I was growing up, I didn’t know the name of this flower until it was wrapped in a failure.
For weeks I’d practiced for the annual spelling bee at my elementary school. The day of the bee finally arrived and I made it through three rounds. I was a better than average speller and could already envision my picture in the newspaper as the champion for my school.
That’s when I stepped up to the microphone and was asked to spell the word hyacinth.
Never heard of it. My hands began to sweat as I slowly I muttered, h-i-a-s-i-n-t-h. . . DING. It was the dreaded error bell. “I’m sorry, but that’s incorrect. You may be seated.”
I was devastated. There went my championship. I went home and looked up the word, even better, I went to my grandmother’s house and she showed me the beautiful hyacinths in her flower bed. I’d passed those flowers a hundred times and never bothered to ask their name. Now I had an object to go with the word. . . and a lesson in spelling. I’ve never misspelled it again.
When my grandmother died, friends in Texas sent a potted plant to our family home in Alabama the day before her funeral as show of their love and sympathy. Took my breath away when they were brought into the kitchen— hyacinths.