There is a saying that I adhere to that God is in the details. As I was sitting outside one evening, I began to wonder how God planned the details of the first hot almost summer nights and the sultry, sensuous smell of honeysuckle as it begins to bloom.
The smell of honeysuckle is very memory evocative, as substantiated by this selection from Dr. Edward Bach, famous for the Bach Flower Remedies. He prescribes:
"Honeysuckle is for people who live in the past instead of the present. They feel that their best days are behind them and that there is little to look forward to, and as a consequence they prefer to dwell on past happinesses (or past misfortunes). At a more minor key, homesickness and nostalgia are also Honeysuckle states. The remedy helps the person in this state to learn from the past without needing to relive it, so that the person can progress on into the present and take joy from today and tomorrow."
Dr Bach's description:
Those who live much in the past, perhaps a time of great happiness, or memories of a lost friend, or ambitions which have not come true. They do not expect further happiness such as they have had.-taken from The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies.
Further research brought up this also apt horticultural description:
"When the internet is capable of producing smells, then an article about honeysuckle will be able to do justice to this flower. The wonderfully fragrant white blossoms of Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) make up for its extremely invasive habit. After starting with a 6 inch sprig, we now have thick vines encompassing the compost bins and a large segment of fence. The plant sends out new shoots which seem to grow several inches every day, as well as ground runners that sneak around behind fences and through the grass. An interesting feature of the blossoms is that they start out white, then turn yellow as they age. Every so often, sections of the honeysuckle vines die and must be trimmed away. The woody stems can be rather thick, but they are soft and easily cut. When extra shoots are cut away from the main stems, the new growth is more profuse the following spring."
Not to anthropomorphize, but what did God intend to do with honeysuckle? Hot nights magnify the smell, and it's an almost primal reaction, perhaps at the level of pheromones. The memory it evokes does not seem like my own, but older, a tribal/race memory perhaps. Perhaps that it is one of its details: it's good to have things that connect us in kinder, gentler ways to our collective memory and past.
Beyond that, did God the Creator (God is in the details, after all...) think about the perfume, the shape of the flower, how it would fit a hummingbird's beak, the lush profusion of green with scattered white and yellow blossoms climbing up the fence? Did God the Creator consider how a hot, sweaty night might be enhanced with the smell of honeysuckle? It's an evocative flower in many ways. And as Dr. Bach suggests, can the honeysuckle essence help a person "to learn from the past without needing to relive it, so that the person can progress on into the present and take joy from today and tomorrow?"
If you have your own profusion of honeysuckle to enjoy, I hope that it brings you both memories of and surroundings for joy and a wonderful scent/sensual pleasure in creation. If you don't have your own honeysuckle, please feel free to come by my yard some evening. And then, as we inhale a deep breath of warm honeysuckle scented air, let us take joy from the day, and thank God for the details. (And hold and savor the moment for when we need it next January....)