Sitting at my dining room table Saturday afternoon, I had my usual perfect view of my neighbor's front yard. But my eye went straight to something new, something I hadn't seen in a number of months: Her crape myrtle tree had its first burst of candy pink blooms.
I consider crape myrtles somewhat of a Southern treasure, especially the pink ones.
But that's not what I was thinking of Saturday afternoon. As soon as I saw those blooms, I was immediately transported back to a summer day in my childhood. I was reading in my pink bedroom; I'm sure it was a book from the Wilson County Public Library. Mama took us often in the summer months. Outside, a thunderstorm was making lots of racket, and the rain was pounding against my window. Also pounding against my window was a branch from the crape myrtle that grew beside the house. The branch was already weighed down by an enormous crop of pink flowers. Once the flowers got drenched by the rain, they weighed even more, and the branch was bowed. Pink flowers clung to the window screen.
That's it; that's the image from my childhood of the crape myrtle outside my window. But that single image took me back to my childhood. Back to summers filled with kickball games, homemade ice pops, following the mosquito truck as it sprayed insecticide up and down the street, trips to Daddy's garden, sleeping late and waking to a breakfast of Mama's buttered toast.
That single memory gave me the most wonderful feeling of home. Home passing the summer days with Mama, Daddy, Susan and our cats. Home sweet home.
Thank God for my happy, happy childhood. And for memories.