My friend’s grandparents, all four of them, came to Boston from County Cork, Ireland. They started their families there, raised their children and saw grandchildren born, and grew old in this country. They were homesick at times, of course, and one grandfather talked about how seeing his toddler grandson play reminded him of his own childhood in the hills of Cork. They never again saw the land of their birth.
Did they miss the trees and flowers that grew there? Did the rocks have a different character and the ocean a different smell? Did they see anything growing in the gardens of Boston that looked like these flowers from the grounds of Blarney Castle, and feel a bit more rooted in their adopted home? I hope so. The particular colors and scents of our childhood are so important, and while beautiful things bloom everywhere, when we’re older we may always feel a longing for the ones we saw when we were very young.
I hope that if you’re an adult, the next time you go outside, you see a flower from your childhood; and if you’re a child, that the flowers you see now follow you wherever adulthood might take you.
Flowers from Mike McLaughlin.