It's a fragrances that can evoke memories of my childhood with the slightest whiff.
It calls to mind bare feet in the sweet grass, rich earth under my hands, blue skies and sweaty pony tails as we raced around the yard, climbing in and out of the low heavy branches.
It also calls to mind plain cheese sandwiches with a little mayonnaise. I must have eaten one almost everyday under that great big magnolia in our back yard. Funny, but now I wouldn't touch that sandwich, but magnolias?
Oh, how I love them.
Maybe it's the way the big waxy petals seem to enclose a secret treasure.
Gradually unfolding to reveal the scarlet dipped treasure at it's center.
I have always been fascinated by the stamens and the way they'd gather, cupped in the soft white petals like some kind of offering.
It's a hardy tree that can grow tall with branches from the ground all the way up making it the perfect fort and climbing tree.
With every intake of it's sweet scent I can hear echoes of my childhood...my sisters...laughter...my Mother calling us in for the night. And if I sit still long enough I can almost see the fireflies that used to dance among it's leaves late in the evening.