Every mother’s day, growing up, my sister and I would walk one block down the street to “Azalea Park;” a small parcel of public land lined with a rainbow of azalea plants. They peaked just at Mother's Day. We would pick the flowers and string them together to create a lei for our mother.
This year, I’m in DC just a few days before Mother’s Day, and it seemed like the perfect time to resurrect the old tradition. It must have been 25 years or more since I last made her a flower garland. But as we pulled into the old neighborhood, I noticed that “Azalea Park” was mostly green with a few flecks of pinks and reds and just as many brown spots of blooms past their prime.
It seemed odd to me that I would have been able to create such lush leis growing up, and today there are slim pickings. Is this a case of global warming, that the plants are blooming weeks earlier than they did 25 years ago? Or is this just an anomaly of a very cold winter followed by the warm spring temperatures?
In any case, I was able to create a small gift for my mother… and thank her for the wonderful love and memories of my childhood. Happy Mother’s Day!