Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bracting For Cynthias'

You'll have to pardon my sentiment,
but understand, I live with a widower
whose entire life is behind him and therefore understandably considers memory more than that place where you keep stuff to tell yourself later.  I talk in Brand of Make Believe about 
Robert Boyer quite a bit, as friendships
between thirty five and ninety year olds
should be the norm (at least I have always felt that way).  But there is another spirit about the house and yard who, though I have never met her, reaches past her confinement in heaven to whisper in my ear.  She, of course, is Cynthia Boyer, Roberts beloved, late wife.  Cynthia passed away fifteen years ago, before I came to Bloomington.  But her love of antiques gives this old house a far more substantial feel than the typical
medium density fiberboard furniture I have decorated my houses with.  I could talk all day about how Cynthia dragged Robert through the experiences she wanted to have in life, despite his capacity to object to just about everything under the sun, save his unchanging  habits.  When I met Robert I didn't live with him, so I just came by his house and reveled in the gardening he dabbled in, mostly 
bush trimming, ect.  Well, one day, I pointed out a "flowering" Forsythia, that sits at the Northeast corner of the house.  Robert smiled and let me have it: " that plant is not flowering, those yellow things are bracts not flowers."  I was floored and thrilled to learn this small thing. "And besides,"
said Robert, "around here, we call that thing a "For Cynthia".  

And I will too, for as long as
I can.  

Here are some pictures of my "bracting"  For Cynthia.  On a side note my Korean friends love For Cynthia's (I usually break down and tell them the real name, given my desire as an ambassador of US midwestern charm, to not embarrass them.)
It wouldn't surprise me if the plant were from China (I'll look it up, I know, I know.)
The Korean name is Gai-Be, which sounds like "guy" "bee".  Ask a Korean you meet.
They will be thrilled to tell you what they think.  Just give them a break if they translate a Gai-Be's behavior in Spring as flowering.  

No comments: