Spring has finally arrived in Texas. The roses and jasmine are blooming. The oaks and the lawns have greened up too. I love this time of awakening and renewal.. My winter bound soul takes a long breathe in and a slow breathe out.......ahhhh.....
But I am missing my most beloved part of springtime: lilacs.
I first became aware of lilacs in 2nd grade, while we lived in Rochester, NY.
There was a hillside park, that was covered in graceful, aged lilacs of every color...and there was a lilac festival on the hill as there was a lilac festival on the hill as well. It's the only time I remember my Daddy flying kites with us. The spring zephyr coming off the hillside, must have swooped down and up at just that certain correct angle and speed. I don't know if the hill of lilacs is still there, or if the festival is still held....but it certainly lives on in my memories.
I lived on a farm in South Dakota for 12 years while raising my daughter....and Dakota has its own variety of pioneer hardy lilacs that withstand the Arctic winters and bravely bloom first on the prairie. About a mile down a dirt township road from my place was an old, and mostly abandoned cemetery. Did you know that townships had their own school sections, their own meeting halls, and their own cemeteries? Many are still functioning today...
Anyway, this old cemetery was in the corner of my neighbor,Grandpa Red's, cow pasture. The lilacs were old and gnarled; interlacing bushes that protectively covered a few remaining graves. (Often graves were moved to active cemeteries when churches move, or townships no longer supported the site.)
Inside this grove were several old tombstones....small, eroded, lettering covered by lichens....small rounded lambs on top, most probably indicating infant graves.
In the spring I would drive down the road, climb through the barbwire fencing, and take a few moments to sit by the white stones. I could hear the blackbirds chuckling in the near by slough. The sunlight filtering through the spring leaves was emerald, the smell of the purple lilacs indicative of what Heaven must certainly be like.
After murmuring a few motherly words and lullabies to the slumbering babes, I would take armfuls of blooms home and festoon my 2 story farm house with the scent of paradise. There is nothing like awakening to the smell of lilacs in your room, the moment of consciousness somehow allowing a whiff of lilacs, as if you were smelling them all over again, for the first time.
I love my roses and jasmine, my hibiscus and wisteria...but my soul longs for the scent of lilacs....and the trill of the blackbirds in the Dakota spring.
Be safe, take the best vitamins for women, and be blessed, Kersten