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My garden is springing back to life as it does every spring. It’s just in time because I was getting really tired of dry crumpled leaves, dusty soil and no signs of life.
Frankly I’ve had my fill of dry and dusty and lifeless.
Really done with that.
So this post is a little love note to Mother Nature. Thank you for coming through for me and showing me how ripe and luscious life can be.
Aren’t these iris just the bomb?
And clematis – oh my goodness you are amazing.
The lilacs have just finished showing off (they were the late blooming version.) Every morning as I sat on my deck with coffee I was enveloped with the scent of lilacs in bloom.
What a girl that Mother Nature is!
She’s just getting started. In the front I have peonies popping out like the huge crepe paper flowers we used to make when we were kids. Pink and white balls of gorgeousness.
And the roses. How could I forget to mention those lovelies?
After a barren winter, my senses are nearly on overload. My soul is plumping up and I am reminded that life is good.
It can mean an all out wild series of parties, an event of wonderment, and an exaggerated event to name only three gleaned from a quick Google search.
To my way of thinking this year in northern Colorado has definitely been a lilacpalooza. It’s the last day of May and still we have the pleasure of their company. That alone is palooza worthy.
Last week I parked my car in front of one of our municipal office buildings. The instant I set foot outside my vehicle I was enveloped in the spicy, sweet fragrance of lilacs. It was aromatherapy at its best. I took a deep breath, smiled and realized that my mood had lightened significantly.
Lilacs do that for me every time.
I remember a dear friend telling me that during a particularly rough patch in her life, she would alter the route on her daily walk so that she went past a large stand of lilacs in bloom. When the blooms eventually faded, she used lilac scented lotion to extend the experience.
My mother loved lilacs. Her favorite was the white lilac, which some folks say is the most fragrant of all the varieties. I can’t see one without thinking of her. It’s a lovely touchstone that comes round every spring.
On my personal bucket list is to go to the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival. The island alone is travel-worthy and then to have a ten-day celebration of lilacs sounds so wonderful. This year the celebration is June 10 – 19th in case you want to make plans! One of these years, I’ll get there.
If you have the chance today, get yourself to a place where a lilac bush is blooming. Stop and press your face into the blooms. Then inhale this elixir of spring. If you’re feeling really wild and crazy, repeat this every day until the season has passed. It will be one of the joys of your spring season.
If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.
Every spring for a week, maybe ten days at the most, in the early morning, my bedroom is bathed in a luminous pink light. It’s as if the sun shoots intense rose-colored rays direct to me.
The source is a large crab apple tree in the green space behind my house. This tree has some years on it, and the branches are full and round, like a child’s drawing of a tree.
Most of the year, it is fairly unremarkable, but in spring, this tree is devastatingly beautiful. It is crammed with tiny pink blossoms – so many it seems there is hardly enough room on each limb for them. When the morning light glances off these blooms, they shine into my bedroom like a lighthouse leading me from the fog of winter safely toward spring.
Some years I try to strike a bargain with Mother Nature.
“Why can’t I have this pink glow all the time?”
I am so starved for green and growing things by the end of winter. And the spring flowers are with us for so short a time.
What would it be like to have tulips and daffodils blooming year round?
Apple blossoms in December.
“Appreciate what you have when you have it,” Mother Nature says. “Then move on. Make room for the next thing to bloom in your world, in your heart.”
When I look around, I know this to be true.
As the fruit blossoms fade, the lilacs open. And by the time the lilacs turn gray, the peonies are about to bloom and the summer flowers are well on their way.
There is always something to thrill you, that is if you’re open to being thrilled.
I’ve already bared my soul to you about my love of rhubarb.
Now it’s time to fess up about another spring plant.
I’m nutty about lilacs. I love everything about them – their various shades of purple, pink and white, their intoxicating sweet and spicy fragrance, the clusters of tiny flowers, which I’ve just learned are called panicles.
Love it all!
Perhaps what intrigues me most about lilacs is that they are only around for a couple of weeks in the spring, and not everywhere. Their message is simple: “I’m special. You’d better love me now while you have the chance.”
Lilacs grow best in areas that have a winter. They need the time to rest up before the next season of blooming. It’s good advice for all of us. My sister in Dallas doesn’t get to experience the joy of lilacs. It’s too darned hot in her neck of the woods.
Every day on my trip to the pasture, I drive past a building that right now has three lilacs blooming side- by- side. There’s white, lavender and deep purple. It takes my breath every single time I see this spectacular trio. On Tuesday I stopped to take some pictures and breathe in that yum-o-licious fragrance.
It was bliss.
When a clerk at the office supply store inquired how my day was going, I replied, “It’s wonderful. Have you noticed that the lilacs are blooming?” This is a habit of mine, to talk to strangers about things they don’t expect to hear. It’s actually quite entertaining.
He gave me a blank stare and then said, “Hmm. I guess I haven’t noticed.” I think he was hoping I’d leave soon.
“You owe it to yourself to go out and find some lilacs and just inhale.”
Now he was getting uncomfortable. He probably thought he had a real nut case on his hands. But he didn’t say that. He shrugged, waited a beat and then asked if he could help me with anything else.
I smiled. “No thanks. I only needed this paper.”
I hope he takes me up on my suggestion. Lilacs are one of the miracles of the world and everyone could benefit from lilac therapy. I’ve tried many times to cut them and bring them into the house. Once I even tried spreading them around my bed, for the pure hedonistic experience of sleeping in lilacs.
None of it was too successful. The lilacs quickly wilted.
What I think I’ve learned is that lilacs are best appreciated when left wild.
It makes me ask myself a hard to-answer question. Can I appreciate beauty in its natural state without having to take a piece of it and make it my own?
Bud and Pepper and my experiences with them in the pasture are helping me learn to value the natural world for what it is. And to be grateful for every moment I have on this amazing planet.
I hope you’ll stop sometime this week and smell the lilacs.
Eat your lunch beside a lilac bush. It will brighten your day. No doubt about it.
Just don’t wait too long.