My long-suffering spouse and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary and opted to walk the district to walk off our excellent lunch. Wandering past a lovely front-yard garden, I was stopped by a scent, which I at first credited to something blooming in the yard but eventually identified as linden, a tree I fell in love with in Bulgaria and which has an American cousin. (If you have never smelled linden, imagine honeysuckle crossed with lily of the valley with undertones of citrus--yes, such a scent exists for a few glorious weeks every year.)
All the lindens I had ever seen were street trees, none more than twenty feet tall, but there were no lindens visible anywhere despite the scent that followed us for most of the block. Abandoning the mystery, we continued our walk, but when we finished our loop, I looked up, and there it was:
the biggest linden I have ever seen, towering over the Methodist church. This tree is a comparative youngster, though, as American linden can live for several hundred years and reach 100 feet in height. This one only reaches a little more than the height of a three-story church bell tower.
We hadn't seen the tree because it was too tall. We were looking for blossoms at eye level, which these definitely were not, even though the scent was everywhere.
Thoreau wrote that "Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads," and while I generally agree with Henry David, sometimes heaven, or at least magic, is over our heads--and we have to remember to look.