Buttercup Hill

I must be thinking of Buttercup Hill because fall is shutting down to make way for winter.

One of five children, I used to run up the long hill in Riverdale, New York where we lived and climb over the fence to see if the buttercups had decided it was warm enough to open up yet. If they did, the brown hill would suddenly be brush painted in a bright lustrous yellow. I would lie down turning my head left and right to be eye level with the blossoms. If I were there with one of my sisters, we would play the buttercup game.

These scenarios went something like this:

“Lean your head way back,” my second oldest sister, Randi, commanded plucking a few flowers to wave them just under my chin.”

“You’re not buttery,” she proclaimed when my chin did not reflect yellow.

“I am, too. I am very buttery.”



“Your turn,” Randi said.

I copied her gesture, amazed to see her chin was yellow.

I was torn about telling her the truth.

“I think I do see a little yellow on your chin,” I admitted.

“See, I am buttery!” she gloated.

I wish I had lied.

Now, up on Buttercup Hill with my oldest sister, Krissie, things were different.

Two Ferdinands, we sat down in the yellow blossoms together and– for a suspended moment in time–we tried to smell the spring in the flowers.

“Let’s just pretend they do smell,” said Krissie.

“They look like they should smell very sweet.” I said.

“I agree,” said my oldest sister. “We smell the sweet of spring.”

We joined pinkies. “Sweet,” we said is unison enjoying sisterhood and the profusion of yellow.

Oh, the sweetness of sisterhood on Buttercup Hill!