Fragrance of the Twin Flower by M.E. B. Gregory

Fragrance of the Twin Flower by M.E. B. Gregory

All my childhood through I knew and loved the flowers and ferns of my native state. I was a country child and I loved to ramble through the old pines, and though I have left it years ago and have made a home elsewhere I long for a sight of its dear old woods, dark and dim like some old cathedral rich with their wealth of living pictures, never to be seen in very many instances by any eye but of Him who formed them. The memory of the flowers my old friends comes to me over and over like the thoughts of the loved ones in the old homestead. How many happy hours I have spent in the woods of the old " Pine Tree State "

It was a delightful playground when a child, on every holiday. The birds and trees and flowers were all my own. When I outgrew my childish plays I did not outgrow my love for those friends. In the spring I still hunted anemone, hepatica, trailing arbutus and later in the long hot days of mid-summer a beautiful little flower, Linnaea, the namesake of the great Botanist Linnaeus. It grew among the pines and covered the ground with a beautiful carpet of softest green. Every few inches it threw up a slender stem upon which grew two delicate pink bells and from the fact that the two flowers grew together, my sister and I — always together — called them twin sisters. We never sought then to know its botanical name, for we loved that name better than we could any other. We always found it when first it bloomed by its wonderful fragrance, which could be perceived for a long distance. I have not seen it for years, but I can often see just where it grows and how it looks and it makes with its surroundings one of the most beautiful pictures which hang on memory's wall. I have often and often walked miles to gather flowers. Every spring when the warm sun melted away the snow on the southern hillside and the knolls of the old pasture would we make daily pilgrimages to the familiar spots in search of trailing arbutus or may-flower as we called it, nowhere so exquisite as there. Day after day we went carefully scraping away the snow and laying bare the leaves that the buds might be warmed and brought to perfection. When at last we really found flowers how delighted we were, how excited and how glad to take the very first bunch to father and mother. We would often get up and go our to pick our treasures before the sun was up for we fancied their fragrance was more delightful, and that they retained their freshness longer if we gathered them before the sun had melted the frost which lay sparkling like jewels all over them. We tenderly, jealously kept the secret, where the brightest and best of them grew from every one. We were by no means selfish of our flowers. We loved to share them. The old and the poor the sick and the blind, were always remembered, but their home, their birthplace, was a sacred spot not to be trodden by the foot of a stranger. I remember out little brother delicate and sweet in his almost baby beauty as he would say, "Don't tell anybody where they grow, they will be so rough and pull them about and tear the roots." One spring there came to the village an old blind uncle of the minister. His blindness touched all our hearts and filled us with pity, One bright morning the little fellow gathered with choicest care the loveliest may flowers and carried them to the old man. I can see now the lighting up of the sightless old man's face as he took the flowers from the little fellow whose face, rosy and fresh as the flowers, glowed with sympathy and pity, timidly offering the best he had to give.