The Lilacson May 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm
I love lilacs.
I love the color, I really love the scent, but most of all I love the happy memories they bring me every spring.
My father loved lilacs, and although he is no longer with us, the memory of many springtimes spent with him, looking for wild lilac bushes, is precious to me. For a while, there was a patch of lilacs in a lot across the street from my parents’ condo, but the land was developed for housing and the developer decided to destroy those lovely flowers. Dad was heartbroken.
Mom and Dad couldn’t plant lilacs of their own because they lived in a condo, but I had a house and so I planted two lilac bushes. Every spring, when the lilacs bloomed, Dad would come and take a bouquet for him and Mom to enjoy. It reminded him of happy times in his boyhood home, before he became a Holocaust survivor and came to this country to make a new life.
Dad has been gone for more than ten years. His lilacs–they will always be his lilacs to me–still thrive.
But this spring, something happened.
One of the bushes bloomed as beautifully as always, but the other–even though it was taller and sturdier–did not. There was not a single blossom on it. Though the leaves were green and healthy, there were no flowers. None. Was it a sign that one of Dad’s lilacs was fading away? Was there anything we could do to restore it? What if our best efforts were no use and we lost it? I felt helpless and sad.
Then, just a few days ago, my husband said, “Would you look at that!” and pointed.
High on the once-barren lilac, one sweetly scented cone of flowers had bloomed, pale purple against a bright blue sky. It was a glorious proof of hope and of the tenacity of life.
It was a wonderfully heartening whisper that sometimes. . .sometimes the message “Don’t give up” is written for us in flowers.