place of lilacs in our memories

I chatted with my brother yesterday. The conversation originated because of a post I had made on Instagram that morning. My post was of a lilac bloom near my front door which is just becoming a full bloom.

Beautiful, isn’t it?

My brother, sister, and I grew up with lilacs. In our front yard were three large lilac bushes, which kind of grew bunched together in a circle. It was wonderful as kids to slip inside the shrubs to play. We were covered in lilac petals and perfume.

I’ve loved lilacs ever since. Lilac memories connect me to my growing-up home. And oh, they connect me to so much more.

To the woods of Downeast Maine to seek out a hidden cluster of lilac trees. I brought back a lovely bunch of branches for the dinner table. Fresh-caught lobster, cooked down in the woods in freshly gathered seawater was the fare that night…

to a day many years ago when my brother sent me fresh picked lilacs from his lilac bush in Santa Fe. He had wrapped them in wet paper and sent them overnight to my office…

to lilacs awaiting me in my room on trips to visit each of my sons…

to an etching my sister gifted me some years ago…

to glee upon finding lilacs on trips with my very best friend.

In Butterfly Weeds, Laura Miller writes, A faint smell of lilac filled the air. There was always lilac in this part of town. Where there were grandmothers, there was always lilac.  My grandmother smelled of lilac.

Mary Oliver writes, “Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light.That is exactly how I felt when I walked outside this day and pressed my nose into a lilac bloom for a long drag of lilac perfume.

Seeing my lilac budding and blooming out gives me hope in this topsy-turvy, frightening time in our lives. I’m calmed, a bit.

These days I feel safest when I’m outdoors. It feels like deep breaths are gulps of fresh air. So, too, are lilac memories.

3 thoughts on “place of lilacs in our memories”

  1. Sooooo Beautiful. So blessed that you have been able to focus on many single things in your life that many would just skip by. Thanks for making us stop and enjoy them too.


  2. Beautiful passages, visuals, and memories. Thanks for sharing and stay safe. Temme

    Sent from my iPhone Please forgive typos



  3. Thank you. I needed to hear this. We had lilacs in Kansas and I miss them here. Drawing on memories of beauty and simpler times is calming and gives me hope.

    Take take of yourself!

    P.S. You’re brother is pretty awesome!


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