There are days when magnolia blossoms feel like offerings, hands pitched in prayer. The petals are smooth as expensive leather, not out of place at all as the material needed for a Parisian lady’s handbag.
Vintage pink. Classy. Not too bright. As if flecked ever-so-subtly with the tiniest shades of grey.
There is comfort to be had in such blossoms.
My sister, from whom I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster ride with for the past few years calling me at 3AM, saying:’I'm struggling. Please come” and me getting in the car when the streets are purple black and driving to her without hesitation. It feels good to have her turn to me, it feels good to know I can do something to help because for so long the most meaningful discourse we have had has been akin to strangers at the bus stop discussing the weather.
Her husband – the dirty rat – in jail but still able to rattle her as if he is some kind of mob boss. Hiring a dirty huckster criminal lawyer to hit her with a barrage of bogus charges. They renovated their house during their marriage. Spent over two hundred thousand dollars on new kitchens and bathrooms with toilets that flushed automatically. Now he wants the money back saying she coerced him into renovating. Her personality also made him drink to excess and caused him to abuse her. He says he is an alcoholic because of her. I don’t take the charges seriously. They are so ludicrous I cannot even believe that someone with an actual law degree would consider them legitimate.
But I see my sister’s face, pinched and worried and know the fact that she is taking them seriously is enough of a reason to say nothing. Is enough of a reason to be there.
The lawyer has been calling my sister, harassing her, telling her she will go to jail too if she doesn’t pay back the renovating money. She calls at 8AM, ranting. My sister crumples, cries like she did when she was a little girl, covering her face with her hands. I am distraught. I am angry. I ring the lawyer back and tell her if she calls again I am calling the police. That she is a charlatan. I call the Law Society and report her. They already have ten complaints against her. She doesn’t call back, hasn’t called back.
I make French toast. My sister eats it all. She seems better. As she dabs at the corner of her mouth with a crinkled serviette I am reminded exactly of why I love her.
We walk. All day. Looking at clouds. Listening to birds. Smiling at children on red tricycles. It is calming and healing.
At every corner we see a magnolia tree in blossom. It is as if George and Ira Gershwin have written a song about every garden in the street. We find a tree with enormous blossoms in deep, soothing pink. It is a luxurious sight. We sit on the kerb, watching as the dusk tinges the blossoms blue. It is like seeing the curtain close at the end of a symphony.
We are drawn from the stark edge of day to the hush of evening. The magnolia blossoms lean close to one another…as do we. Untroubled, savouring the shadows, together.