The garden is growing and producing. The first tomatoes, the midlife in blackberry brambles, and the beginning of Gardenias. All of these blessings remind me of childhood weekends on the ranch in Folsom, LA. We picked baskets of blackberries in muddy bottoms sharing borders with fences or rivers populated with water moccassins. The tomatoes ripened like a choir singing “Onward Christian Soldiers”, all together with red cheeks and much Protestant fervor. Delicious in their statement of victory over our appetites. The gardenias simmering in the heat, letting passers-by know they were there as their fragrance filled the air. In my walks I can smell them as I travel by, their perfume reaching my nose before their glare touches my eyes. There are several scents to be had in gardenia bouquets. One of the plants we have shares its nose with that of a Camino Ranch gardenia from years past. It is unmistakeable in its spiciness. My sister and I can weep at the scent, the memories of horseback rides, herds of cats and dogs that found their way to the ranch house door and became part of the family. The hunts for strawberries and the infamous jeep rides. And little girls in the big bedrooms talking till they fell asleep exhausted. Still holding hands after a day of fresh air, fresh food, and sunshine. Best friends and sisters.