This happened over a month ago, but I swear I can still smell their sweetness. I absolutely LOVE peony season, and making a bouquet with Nadia from the blooms in our backyard is something I look forward to every year.
When I was growing up, my family had three bushes of pink peonies that lined up in a row on the side of our house. When they were in bloom, it was like a timestamp that let me know I was safe. That for months I could be in my happy place and be fully Marybeth.
I didn’t particularly enjoy school when I was young. It was a huge struggle for me. I was the “weird” one. I never felt like I truly fit in anywhere, and despite me being fairly intelligent (or at least as smart as I needed to be- LOL), it seemed like everyone was always pointing out all the things I struggled with (i.e. social interaction, making friends, etc.) rather than providing me encouragement and applause for the things I did well. That is, until the bus turned the corner and I saw my mom waiting for me. There’s truly no place like home.
I don’t want this to sound like a sob story by any means- I had a GREAT childhood. And that’s really my point- Despite my woes during the school year, when the pink peonies were finally in bloom in my yard, it marked the season where I was able to retreat to my haven with my favorite people and be myself. They embraced my quirkiness, and dare I say, they LIKED me as much as they loved me. 🙂 (Thank you Mom, Daddy, Steph, and Diana.)
When I smell peonies, I think of them.
Fast forward 20+ years. Today marks 5 years since we moved into our house. When we first came to visit this little A-Frame in the cornfields, we didn’t know we were arriving home. We drove down the long driveway talking about how much property there was (which we loved), but we still weren’t sure if we’d like the actual house. Since we were early for our showing, we took a walk around to see just how much property we were looking at. The open backyard was HUGE. I remember thinking, “Ok God. We’re really happy with the landscape and space here, but I’m gonna need a really stinking good sign to know if this house is ours or not. Give me what you’ve got.” And then I smelled them.
It was like getting a wink from above.
As it turned out, we saw the potential in this little home of ours. Over the past 5 years, a lot has changed. We’re slowly transforming it into the “rustic” dream we envisioned it becoming… but no matter how much we change, one thing will always remain.
This is home.