Fragrant Quote for April 28th, 2012-Fragrance of Lavender-The Oakleyites By Edward Frederic Benson

Fragrance of Lavender-The Oakleyites
By Edward Frederic Benson

Outside, serene saffron-coloured lights hung in the West, amazingly luminous, so that though the sun had set, the illuminated sky still dimly outlined the shadows of chimneys and gables on to the westward-facing walls of houses opposite. In the narrowing street up which Miss Dorothy walked briskly to her home, a clear twilight as of translucent water flowed gradually deeper and deeper, but when, passing through the darkling house, she came out for a stroll in her garden, which stood on the very top of the hill-plateau, it was like emerging into some enchanted place. A yellow unreal light flooded it, making the grass look orange-toned, and the familiar and splendid hues of her October flower-beds seemed as if they had been painted anew from some strange palette of fairyland. On the gravel path just outside her dining-room windows were spread sheets of newspaper covered with the harvest of flowers from her lavender-hedge laid out to dry, and the scent of them hanging motionless like a fragrant pool around them brought to her a rush of suddenly awakened memories, that the sense of smell, most subtle of all the gateways which lie between soul and body, aroused in her. For that instant she was a girl again, not remembering but actually recapturing youth, experiencing it, not recollecting it. It was swift and surprising like a sudden stab of pain that passes completely, and at once she was back again in the body of her years, which she wore so happily and contentedly, back in the midst of her middle-age and pleasant and active, with youth already a cloud on the horizon from which she had travelled so far. Till that scent of the lavender got into her blood for that one moment, she had not ever consciously realised how long that travel had been.