Up ahead is a neighbor’s mimosa tree; its fern-like bipinnate branches heavy with pink “hair-brush” blossoms, a few of which have dried up and litter the grass on the front lawn. I slow down, suddenly aware of a moist sweetness fanned by indolent breezes. I must have more. For long moments I inhale, keenly aware of my sense of smell, then move on down the sidewalk. During previous walks I had noticed the tree’s budding, an early summer phenomenon.

I am not alone in my wonder. Others struck by the beauty and fragrance of the mimosa tree have enshrined their experiences in myths and legends from Greece, Africa, and Indonesia. The protagonists, overwhelmed by trauma, sought the tree’s healing powers and were restored to harmony, not without bearing their scars.

This same tree has also been pivotal in my life challenges: some painful; some joyful. Its fragrance still envelops seekers within scents of the first morning of creation where all is well.

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