“In pale moonlight/the wisteria’s scent/comes from far away”

Yosa Buson


There is a beautiful Wisteria tunnel in my local park,  planted, I think in 1901 when the grounds were being constructed. For years now, it has been a nice place to go when calmness and reflection is needed. Sometimes, just to walk through it on a spring or summer’s day (like the day this photo was taken) brings a huge sense of  happiness and well- being, however fleeting. It’s a pleasure to walk through the old, twisted, sturdy roots, and at the same time to be surrounded by its sweet, beautiful scent, touch its purple flowers on the bridge of my nose and feel the warm, butterfly breeze on my skin.

But oh, it brings back memories too. Scent- memories, sense- memories, real memories. Memories of our old house. The wisteria crawling up the veranda in the front garden.  Our beautiful, old, happy, family home- before the floor became the ceiling and the ceiling became the floor and everything got so topsy-turvy.

I’ve always loved that smell, but it’s bitter- sweet. Even its name reminds me of the precise feeling it gives me. Wistfulness, mixed with nostalgia, mixed with happiness and the past.