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Monday, May 18, 2015

Lilac Love



Growing up, we had a pink lilac by the back door and when it bloomed, I’d stand under it, trying to surround myself in its perfume.  My parents planted two more on the property border, one deep purple and one white.  My brother and his family live in that house now, and while the lilac at the back door long succumbed to some disease or my mother’s change in floral taste, I’m pretty sure the two on the border are still there.  I can see myself, at ten, or fourteen or twenty-one, reaching up to pull down a purple branch and burying my nose, enveloping myself in a scent that still conjures New England stonewalls, wet rain, and grass Kelly green in its newness. 

The first house my husband and I bought came with a lilac bush, a cutting transplanted by a generous neighbor before we owned the place.  For six years I waited for it to bloom but in one of life’s ironies, its first set of buds appeared about the time we locked that door for good and relocated, forty-miles up the highway. 

When we moved into our current home, someone dear gave us a lilac as a housewarming.  We planted it at the corner of the house, where we thought we’d get sun. We do, just not enough. Later that year, after trimming around the yard, we found two other lilacs, both white, posed behind a leggy Forsythia.  One of those succumbed to what we call The Great Tree Disaster of 2013.  But we still have two bushes.  While thin and reedy, each year they offer up a couple of blooms, and always, there’s a morning in mid-spring when I find myself standing underneath, reaching up to pull down a blossom and breathing in.


15 comments:

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

One of the loveliest sights in spring is the lilac tree or bush. Their aroma is truly one of Mother Nature's greatest gifts.

Joanne said...

aaahh - I can smell it from here.

mshatch said...

God, I love lilacs. They smell divine.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

pretty

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you can still enjoy your lilacs.

Chrys Fey said...

I wish I had lilacs! Those look lovely. :)

Robin said...

Liza,

My plants, flowers, bushes are all in terrible shape (except my veggie garden, which is getting all the attention). I think you need to come down here and apply some TLC to my poor plants. They would LOVE you...:)

Bish Denham said...

Oh... I can just about smell it. We tried to grow a lilac, but where we are in Texas just wasn't it's cup of tea. The darn thing is still alive after all these years, a scraggly mess that has never bloomed.

emaginette said...

Lucky you. You found treasure. I've loved lilacs all my life. :-)

Anna from Elements of Writing

Pixel Peeper said...

Lilacs in the North, wisteria in the South...and you can get drunk on the scent.

Lovely photos!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I love the scent of lilac. We have one scraggly bush but there are many around the neighborhood that I walk under when I'm out and about. They're almost finished for the season now.

Carol Kilgore said...

Those are so pretty. We had a lilac bush at one house we lived in, but I don't remember if it was in New Jersey or Tennessee. I think the latter. It was at the back door.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Those are gorgeous! I don't own any lilacs, but you are making me want to get one.

Daisy said...

I love lilacs and love the aroma. It is one of my great memories from childhood.

Empty Nest Insider said...

My mom had lovely purple lilac bushes on the side of her house. Sadly, the new owner cut them all down. I haven't had the heart to tell her. Your lilac bushes also look beautiful, and thanks for sharing your childhood memories, Liza.

Julie