Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s estate is called Stargazer, and in her garden, she has planted a lot of Stargazer Lilies. This time of year, her garden is exploding with the beautiful Stargazer flowers, and the strong, sweet scent permeates the air. She explains why these flowers are so important to her:
“When I was a little girl, my parents rejected me as a curse to the family, since I was a girl – the firstborn – a girl, born on the lunar New Year – how horrible!
So, my father used to get drunk, almost every night, and was abusing me on a daily basis. Because of me, he wouldn’t get his inheritance. Because of me, he was an outcast in the village. I was the root of all his problems!
He would always send me down to the local equivalent of a liquor store, and had me get him “makkali”, his favorite drink. Me, a little girl, had to walk all by myself, in the dark, and get the drink, and then carry it back home without spilling it.
After he got drunk, he would then beat me and yank me out of the house by my hair, and lock me out. It didn’t matter whether it was summer or freezing winter – he was drunk!
So when I was outside, scared, cold, hungry and hurting, I would look up at the sky, look at the stars, my only friends in the long, dark nights. They seemed to blink so warmly and nicely at me, and keep me company, and helped me pass time. In memory of my gazing at the Stars for countless nights, I was happy to find that there is such a beautiful flower called Stargazer.
And since this flower is also so very fragrant, I thought about the sweetness of its scent, making my life so much sweeter!” (Dr. Tae Yun Kim)