THE SWEET NECTAR OF YOUTH

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The sweet scent of honeysuckles engulfed my senses this morning as I walked Bella along the causeway to the bay.  I was immediately thrown back in time where as a little girl I walked along the path to Switlik Park where these gorgeous little flowers grew wild on a hedge. Along with my best friend Gayle, we passed them hundreds of times during the course of our childhoods. We would pick the white flowers and suck on their sweet nectar as we talked a lot about nothing at all on lazy summer days. The taste and fragrance of the sweet blossoms is forever embedded in my memory.

Those were simpler times without worry, at least for two little girls growing up in small town Yardville, New Jersey. Early each summer morning we would walk to the neighborhood pool for swimming lessons. We’d go home for lunch and then walk back again where we’d swing on the swings, belly laugh as we tried to “bump” each other off the seesaw or explore the woods.  It was a safer world. We’d go back to the pool where we’d play games in the water until we’d turn blue then lounge in the warm sun all afternoon talking about boys.

I feel sorry for the kids today who don’t enjoy the simpler pleasures we did, those who stay indoors and waste their time on gadgets and computers, video games and TV. They’ll never have the opportunity to enjoy discovering tadpoles in the creek or baby birds nesting. I’m glad we didn’t have all that technology that now occupies all of our time and energy. The obesity that’s so rampant in the youth of this generation just didn’t exist way back when. Kids in my “Stone Age” years never sat still long enough.  We were always outside “getting some fresh air” as my Mom would say, with lots of walking, running or riding our bikes around the neighborhood. We’d make up hundreds of games using nothing but our imaginations. Back home for dinner we’d go, then outside once more to catch lightning bugs and play hide and seek in the dark with all the neighborhood kids. We fell into bed exhausted only to start over the next day.

It’s amazing how you can be catapulted back in time to reminisce about those almost forgotten days by the unexpected whiff of a flowering bush. It’s a reminder of how grateful I am for the gift of my childhood…and for the gift of honeysuckles.

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