The honeysuckle is in bloom which always takes me back to a day in my childhood when my friend Troy and I were waiting for the bus to go to school and he picked a honeysuckle flower and showed me how to pull it apart, gently grasping the green base and tugging it until the stamens came out revealing a single glistening drop of nectar. It was sweeter than any sweet drink I’d ever had. I started wondering if it would be possible to fill a glass, or even a small bottle, with honeysuckle nectar, although the drops were tiny and it would take a lot and I couldn’t resist just sucking up each one as it came out, like it was a drug. We also tried to figure out if there was a difference between the white blossoms and the yellow. There wasn’t, but together we probably destroyed a hundred honeysuckle blossoms waiting for the bus, which I now realize because honeysuckle is a terrible invasive weed that can destroy forests. Not that I necessarily have anything against invasive plants. Some can even be good. Dandelions are invasive, technically, and they aren’t bad—they’re great for bees, and it’s really fun to go into other peoples’ yards and blow seeds all over them, but that’s another story.
Anyway I was out clearing the honeysuckle in our backyard. I know it’s futile. I’ve spent more than one volunteer weekend at Radnor Lake pulling up small honeysuckle plants and even cutting it down where it’s turned into looming trees that block the sunlight and prevent other plants from growing, but at least I can sort of hold it back, and by taking it out while it’s blooming I can prevent it from producing seeds.
And while I was cutting it back I stopped and pulled out some of the blossoms and pulled them apart, trying to get that sweet hit of childhood once again, but they were all dry. We’ve had more than enough rain lately so that shouldn’t be the problem. Maybe my hands are too big now and I’m damaging them as I pull them apart so I can’t get that sweet drop of nectar. Or maybe something’s changed about honeysuckle and it doesn’t have that drop of nectar anymore. Or I was just unlucky and not getting it right. Whatever the problem was it really sucked.