magnolia

I have grown up with having a magnolia tree in my front yard. It is a beautiful tree. And every spring we are graced by its blooms. As of right now, mid-April, the blooms have already blossomed, petals have fallen to the ground; They have gotten rained on, wind-blown as far as the yard, maybe farther. We have had big, gusty days lately. From the top of the stairs through the two corrugated glass panels on the front door, the petals once they’ve fallen can easily give the appearance of snow.

The petals are mostly white, but have shades of pink, maybe purple, maybe even little black dots decorating the inside of the petal, closer to the center. They are silk soft and are easily torn. It has been awhile since I’ve picked a petal up and examined it. Maybe I’ve been taking the tree for granted. Though not a big perfum-y smell, it still a mild and pleasing scent; A reminder of spring, and that all things they die come to life again.

The other day, Mario watched from the window has three squirrels worked together, gnawing off branches to put them in an abandoned birds’ nest, I can only imagine they claimed as their own. It was fascinating to watch them work together in such a peculiar way, one of which I’ve never witnessed.

The tree is silent except for when the window blows; Then, it’s branches sway in the breeze. Sometimes if the branches are long enough, they’ll tap the bay window or the house. It is a mainstay of my childhood. I used to climb it often. So did my brother when he was younger.

Bringing the full flower to mind, it must be a five petal flower, at least. It’s center pollen columns reaching up. I wonder what kind of honey the bees make with it and what it tastes like. The bees love our yard, front and back I’d imagine. There is moss growing on its thick trunk and branches now. When mowing the lawn, we must go around it which sometimes prevents mowing in a straight line.

wick

Candle in a dark space. It is pitch black night, cool and damp. This candle has never been lit before. Removing the lid, I light all three wicks with a flick of my hand. Black needles, or blades, poking up out of the white, scented wax. It smells like vanilla and lavender. The wicks surprisingly pop, spitting out little bits of ash and smoke. The golden white flames grow and shrink and sway. The closer I get, the hotter it feels. Like a shield of heat protecting its life source. These wicks go all the way down the glass tub of this candle. The hardened wax softens as science decreed it. Being careful as to not burn myself, I push the cooler edges of the wax with my pointer finger. Having softened, it gives and I am entertained my this concept. I begin to light more candles, even ones that have no wicks and are battery operated and electronic, until I am awash in a warm glow and the cool dampness is but a distant memory. I watch the flames wiggle and watch the mysterious shadows that are now cast on the wall in the dark. I do not make a sound and listen to the ticking of wall clock that I cannot see. I do not know what time it is. I do not care what time it is. The floor becomes a tub I now sink myself into. The water is warm and bubbly. Suds are filled to my neck as I close my eyes and flex my toes. I now live in the hardwood floor, attached to this impromptu bathtub. The candles watch over me, useless without their lit wicks. I pretend I am a flame and I dance back and forth in my mind, just like them. I let their movement overcome and hypnotize me, until I am surely asleep and dreaming of something else.