Sunday, September 26, 2010

Peony Leaves

It's curious how often a visible sign reminds of an invisible presence! Now that fall is here, the peony leaves are turning to a russety, red and beige, that melds with the still vivid dahlias! They remind me of Laura, now departed, who first suggested to me the combination of these materials, to produce the spectacular flower arrangements she routinely produced for the Altar Guild. The peony leaves are of such a color in the fall that the entire spectrum of dahlia colors read with them, and of course, the seasons bring them both hand in hand to the flower lover. They belong together and are only accompanied from time to time with Michaelmas daisies. Laura was our neighbor, and the pianist acted as her church ward since Laura became significantly confused over the latter few years before her death. She never lost her discerning eye however, for an incompetent flower arrangement. Moreover she was always able, to the last, to read music and sing the complicated choir arrangements with considerable skill, as long as the songs were prepared for her in sequence , the pages turned for her,and an adjacent finger identified the line from time to time as she got lost. What an interesting software we have for a brain that allows a savant area, retaining our favorite and valued aspects, despite the failure of the rest. I never walk by the turning peony leaves without a moment of thought for Laura. They will come again!

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