May means flowers. Maybe not if you live in one of those states where you’re still getting snow, but down here in the South gardening shops are buzzing with home gardeners picking out their blooms. Flowering trees are showing forth their glory.
Their flowers are so dramatic and showy—a welcome a sight after a dreary winter. Their leaves so waxy and green. Mine was magnificent this year.
Seeing those pink buds made the world feel new again. Interestingly, the magnolia tree’s origins go back millions of years. In fact, dinosaurs may have nibbled on them.
There are so many varieties besides the fragrant white blooms associated with southern plantation homes. This chart from Martha Stewart Living magazine shows the variety and beauty of their blooms.
It’s has a cast of magnolias – Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, and Olympia Dukakis. A group of actresses as varied as the Magnolia blooms and strong enough to survive the challenges of the script with zinger comic one-liners.
The story’s set in a small town beauty shop in Louisiana. Not much has changed in southern small towns, trust me. It’s a funny and heartwarming story of life, love, and loss. Sorta like this Corona virus time we’re living in.
The dark moment comes with Sally Field’s brief monologue when she asks God “Why?” The question we’ve all been asking since 2020 began.
Steel Magnolias is a humorous and dramatic picture of a southern woman’s world. They work and cook and sew and mend and fight and make up. They get their hair and nails done. Well, they did before the virus struck and will again someday. Just ask one.
And when tragedy, or a pandemic virus, strikes, they have the strength and the character to smile through their tears and go on.
They’re magnolias. They laugh a little and cry a little and keep on keeping on. Their roots go deep, maybe not to the age of dinosaurs but deep and strong.
Be a magnolia. A steel magnolia.