Thursday, March 17, 2016

Magnolia memories

Pink magnolia blossoms brighten a grey-white spring sky. After growing up in colder climates, I came to Vancouver at seventeen and felt I was in the tropics.

In first year French at UBC, we studied the Sophocles tragedy Antigone by Jean Anouilh. When I read a scene with two characters sitting beneath a tree with magnolia petals falling on their shoulders, I recognized the word magnolia from English. I had never seen the flowers -- wouldn't have expected to see them north of New Orleans.

When I asked a local classmate what magnolias looked like, she waved her hand airily toward the gardens. "Oh, there are loads of them growing around here. They bloom in early spring." As for the play, all I remember now is how it transported me to that magic land, magnolia country.

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