“Long experience has taught me that people who do not like geraniums have something morally unsound about them. Sooner or later you will find them out; you will discover that they drink, or steal books, or speak sharply to cats. Never trust a man or a woman who is not passionately devoted to geraniums.”
― Beverly Nichols
Geraniums were a staple of my youth…well, at least a staple of my youth at my grandmother’s house. Every spring, her concrete pots would suddenly sprout a set of matching red geraniums. They became a symbol of my grandmother…along with her fruit-filled jello salad, scrumptious vegetables she grew in her own enormous garden, and her sparkling blue eyes. Grandmother was smart, sometimes sharp-tongued, but always nothing more, nothing less than my loving grandmother. She passed her love of geraniums on to me, and never has there been a summer season without their blossoms gracing my yard.
Imagine the sputtering of my heart the first time I saw the porch of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Brilliant red geraniums lined the front porch, which stretches as far as the eye can see. Geraniums echoed throughout the building, on the carpet, scattered among guest rooms. To say the least, I was downright giddy being surrounded by the beauties.
I fell in love with Mackinac Island the first time I saw it. The quaint streets of town, the shuffling of horses, the never-ending smell of horse poo and fudge, the bicycles, and the beautiful homes. But Mackinac is so much more…it’s the subtle breeze, the quiet in the forest. It’s the beauty of nature that whispers through the flowers and the limbs of trees. The flowers are there for only a short time and they tend to show off their beauty like waving flags. Geraniums are there among them, scattered across the island.
Maybe it’s their heartiness – a quality we all strive for, or maybe it’s their unique fragrance – different from so many others, which echoes my very being. Whatever the reason, I adore them.
Geraniums have arrived on my back porch. I will smile each time I see them, thinking of my grandmother, thinking of Mackinac. Isn’t it amazing the power of a single flower and the memories they can evoke?