By Regina Maguire Kirshbaum
I’m having a heady experience, Lowcountry style. As I walk through our lovely neighborhood I am overcome by the scents of serenity. Wafting across my hungry palette, always ripe for whatever HHI has in store, are the intoxicating perfumes of the flora that define this part of the world.
The Magnolia tree is a wonder of tactile and effluvious beauty. The waxy white blooms, larger than an outstretched hand, are individual works of art. A bee’s paradise, their spicy citrus scent gives pause and makes me brazen enough to fight the buzzing for a chance to drink in that sweet, once-a-year nectar. How could Mother Nature have created such a splendid combination of the Magnolia tree’s profile and the production of a perfectly thick, perfumed flower? Hard to criticize her for being such a show off!
Just as I recover from the Magnolia magnificence, I’m struck by the aromatic audacity of the privet hedge. Always a reminder of my yard on Long Island, the tiny clusters of white flowers on this modest hedge plant explode in a riot of olfactory splendor every spring/summer. It’s hard to remain in the present as that scent sends me tumbling back to simpler days, running wild in our backyard, chasing fireflies, and being chased in kind by my constant companion, my dog Buttons. This particular scent is like a stopwatch that signals the start of summer. It will be my barometer for warm weather as long as I live.
Here in my Lowcountry paradise, I am drunk from the surround sound of sweet scents that transport this Yankee to her new roots in a place I could only have dreamt of as a child. The jasmine that spins its white web up the mailboxes of my neighbors makes me swoon. Is it any wonder that butterflies and hummingbirds are so thrilled to call the Lowcountry home?
And then there’s the mineral rich perfume of the pluff mud that surrounds us. I am thrilled to report that this particular scent has seeped into my veins. I revel in observing the daily feast as the tide recedes and the web-footed population descends to enjoy this indulgent buffet.
How blessed we are to live in this remarkable part of the world. I am high on the scents of the Lowcountry, where stopping to smell the magnolias is not an option. Should you find me in a stupor, please join me as I live the Lowcountry High Life!
Regina Maguire Kirshbaum fled Stamford, CT, last year and landed directly on HHI. Fulfilling a decades long dream to live here in “The Land of Make Believe” (as her mother calls it), Regina is smitten with Lowcountry life. Another Yankee, snagged, tagged, and loving our abundant way of life!