A few weeks ago, a student brought me a flower from her yard. It was a thick-walled, tubular, white flower with a powerful scent. I couldn’t stop smelling it. All day long I would lift it to my nose and drink in its delicious fragrance. It made me think of that part of “A Wrinkle in Time” where the kids were in the upper atmosphere and breathed through flower clusters to keep from passing out for lack of oxygen. The fragrance was life-sustaining. I felt like I could have smelled the flower in lieu of eating.
The girl who gave the flower to me saw how much I liked it, and today brought me some more of the flowers. This time when she told me the name of the plant, I wrote it down. It’s called puakenikeni, but I call it one of the most delicious flower smells I’ve ever experienced.