Driving home from work today - and a long, and a weary, and a tiresome day it was - I saw the wisteria was in bloom, purple blossoms hanging over 285 noise barriers like clumps of grapes. There are some varieties of wisteria that bloom into summer, but the wisteria that blooms this early doesn't last long.
When I was a kid, traveling with Mur, she would shout at us whenever she saw the wisteria in bloom. "Kids, look, look! Wisteria! Look at it! Beauty!" Mur was impatient because, speaking for myself, at least, the prospect of seeing some purple flowers was not a thrilling one. The fact that they would only be in bloom a short time offered little more inducement. "Big whoop," applied ironically, to suggest something that was neither very big, nor worth whooping over, was not a phrase in my vocabulary, nor would I have been rude enough to say it about anything Mur held dear; nevertheless, "big whoop," applied with a thick and frosty coating of irony would have exactly summed up my emotions at the time. So what if they're purple. Lots of things are purple. So what if they last only a short time. They'll be back next year. Only the littlest and least whoop-worthy thing would have elicited such a dismissive, "Big woop."
I get it now, Mur. And I'm glad you shouted at me to look at the wisteria whenever it was in bloom. Not that I was capable of seeing it then, but because you shouted when you saw it, I know it affected you then as it affected me today. I saw the wisteria today, Mur. A tiring day, and the ugly-ugly interstate were suddenly only the frame for those heavy purple flowers. I ached that they are so brief. That all things are so brief.