“To walk in a woman’s garden is to visit her soul.” c. e. hollis
In Natchez, high on a bluff above the swollen muddy Mississippi River, sits a masterpiece left over from a grace-filled era. Rosalie, sporting in front and back, great lofty white columns and tall windows along the verandas and porches.
The grounds are full of blooming roses, hydrageas, and the white beauty of gardenias. Hostas and ivies climb wrought iron fences, surround Koi ponds and birdbaths, and trundle along beside brick walks. I imagine what a summer’s evening on one of the upper veranda’s wicker rocking chairs (with a book and a tall glass of minted iced tea) would be like.
The air holds the warmth of the south, the river’s motion and sounds: a tugboat’s warning and the water’s ripple, bird’s calls and cicadas’ songs. There for a moment in the past, I linger dreaming in the shade of spreading live oaks and river’s cooling breeze––watching Rosalie––a ghostly, white statue of stately graceful youth––and I smell the unmistakable, unforgettable, heavy scent of gardenias.