I thought I caught the ephemera of a woman's scent this afternoon. A heady perfume, yet subtle, and mind-focusing. Perhaps, a more primitive part of the mind.
And then that part of my consciousness that pretends to be a fruit of the Age of Enlightenment kicked in. It was a flower, and a flower I seek out every early spring: Daphne.
I have always been amazed at how a small flower can produce such a heady logic-fogging scent. And, even though it is small, it will draw admirers directly to it by smell alone. Homer, in all of his blindness, could find Daphne.
And that was Apollo's problem. In Greek mythology, Apollo, the very epitome of Greek rectitude, was tempted by the nymph Daphne. He pursued her shamelessly like a buck hare.
To protect her virtue, she cried out to the gods -- and was turned into a shrub. Thus the classical pictures, like that at the bottom of the blog, that we all know from those interminable art history lectures. (A resemblance that this blog will not attempt to avoid.)
There is a moral in the tale, Daphne's fragrance (the plant, not the nymph) can still lead even the most moderated life astray. But she has a new protection. The berries of the Daphne shrub are poisonous. She has her revenge on Apollo's sons.