My room faces East. When the sun rises over the water it does so exactly centered on my view from bed. By simply raising my head, I can look through the floor to ceiling windows. This mornings view was absolutely lovely, here in Newport Rhode Island. The sky was clear, and the sun on water made a trail of sparkles across the deep blue. That path glittered even more as it widened. It led right up to the edge of this property. The white filigree wall shone brightly in the early light. The flowers at its base flagrantly abundant and brilliant pink contrasted with the blue sea and sky that were nearly the same shade of sapphire at 6:30 am.
It was time to let the dogs out for some morning relief, and I wanted coffee.
The moment I opened the door of my room the scent of lilies assaulted my nostrils in the most alluring way. Almost overpowering, but not quite.

Sunlit Great Hall

The vast center hall which opens up to the 3rd floor acted as a funnel for the scent of lilies. As I walked down the stairs, it was even more striking. By the time I had started the coffee and let the dogs out and in again, the light had brightened. Still low in the sky it streamed through the house like a spotlight. It lit up several of the pots full of lily blossoms. The fragrance was tremendous! Excessive and opulent the number of urns and pots as well as vases of cut lilies amazed me. I did not realize just how many there were when I arrived yesterday exhausted by the drive up from Washington DC.
It is an extraordinary show of floral one-upmanship. Last year we had no lilies due to an ant infestation in the greenhouse. (or something like that) This had never happened before. Everyone missed the scent of lilies. So I tried to preempt a recurrence of such a tragedy by suggesting that Mother’s gardener plant more bulbs than usual. He did.
I have not counted them yet. There are more lilies than have ever been blooming here. White ones, yellow ones, several different types of pink ones fill their containers. And all of them are exuding a fragrance. In all the time I have been coming to this house, they have had no equal. Maybe the amount doubles as many as the best of summers before this one!

The sitting room with sunlit lilies
sitting room with lilies

Mother is 101, each summer I believe it might be our last. But each summer we come here once more. Being here makes her happy. She rallies and smiles and clearly loves the attention. So here I am enjoying the lilies and trying to be a good daughter to my Mother. Things could certainly be a lot worse. I amgrateful for my life here and the fact that I still have a remnant of my Mother. For the rest of my life, the scent of lilies will be a reminder of her for me, all my children, and grandchildren.

Copyright©. 2019 Bonnie B. Matheson

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