As I was food shopping this morning, my heart was glad to see white lilies. I thought immediately of the above quotation, it being a favorite. However knowing what I would find when I stuck my nose in one of the flowers, I did it anyway. Inhaling nothing almost brought tears.
Yes, there was a bit of scent, but it could hardly be called fragrance. I remember Easter Sundays when one was almost assaulted with the perfume of white lilies. Remember this: White flowers have greater scent than colored ones. That’s because bees are attracted by color and the white flowers must attract them by scent. The flowers that may be colored but do not give off sweet fragrance are pollinated by flies.
As flowers - and other vegetation - have been “improved” upon, the brave flora are taken back to the drawing board to be revamped to attract something that will continue to draw bees and flies, but they never please humans longing for glorious bouquet.
The consideration of human pleasure is left to horticulturists* determined to create what they fancy will be more marketable, fragrance be damned. A good test is to smell, say, a red carnation. Then bury your nose in a white carnation. Even at this pitiful stage of growing flowers, the white will have a distinct scent that her sister does not.
When was the last time you had the pleasure of smelling roses, real roses? Unless you grow your own - and even that has gone downhill for scent - florists are selling beauty without the voluptuous experience of perfume (that’s PERfume - perFUME is a verb).
So now that we have plastic tomatoes, strawberries, melons, pineapples . . . oh, go ahead, make a list. I did buy three Red Delicious apples. They had some scent. Knowing that most of the nutrition is on the skin, I nonetheless ate the whole apple after quartering it, coring it, then filled the empty shallow holes with extra chunky peanut butter - not a lot, but enough to let me pretend the apple was good. On to more tragedy:
I haven’t seen plain old everyday half-and-half or heavy cream without the warning: Ultra-pasteurized. I do not want ultra-pasteurized anything. Like flowers without scent, this sort of cream has neither scent nor flavor. So what’s the point of ingesting fat calories for something that misses good by a mile? And have you ever tasted real milk? The FDA will never approve milk from cows that have been tested for tuberculosis and found healthy. In the meantime, there are so many farm animal diseases. If you want to know about them, the internet will help you until you’re afraid to eat anything.
It would help the planet if many of us stopped eating flesh protein, but that’s yet another subject. Would most of us agree to do without many of our comforts in exchange for a healthy planet? I believe we’re too late by far. I also believe that autism is the result of pollution. I’m so old, I remember when sex was dirty and the air was clean. There are many reasons for the problems we are experiencing today. My favorite culprit is city dwellers moving - by droves - into the suburbs. A big problem then became the need for many automobiles in a single family. In fact, it was the automobile that sent us down that greatly touted slippery slide. There have been automobiles long before Henry Ford showed up, but he really lighted the fire under this sort of transportation.
*You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think - Dorothy Parker