Under the Lilacs
That was the title of the book that my first grade teacher, Miss Hazel Carpenter, gave me for perfect attendance. Mother carefully noted this in the front of the book, adding that it was for the year 1937-38. We are so grateful to Mother for doing things like that. The book was written by Louisa Mae Alcott, the same author that wrote Little Women, a perennial favorite. But it is the title that grabs my attention. Lilacs are among my favorite flowers. We had rows of lilacs when I was young. Mother would bring in armloads of the flowers and would arrange big vases of them. She had a knack for this that I don’t have.
I stopped at our neighbor’s yard this morning. We are watering her plants for a few days. She has the proverbial green thumb and her yard is absolutely full of plants of various kinds. There is a rather large lilac bush with lots of blossoms. Mmmm and I buried our noses in the blossoms and were immediately transported back to another time and place. There is nothing like the fragrance of lilacs.
In a bit of serendipity, I received an email from a friend in the last day or two. She and I were in the same Bible Study years ago. One time I asked the leaders to tell something about themselves that others wouldn’t know (this was when we still did things like this), and Darlene said that all the flowers at her wedding were lilacs, if I am not mistaken. Can you imagine how wonderful that church must have smelled? She is a beautiful woman with a great sense of style. I love to think about what that occasion must have been like. It must have worked – she and her husband have been married perhaps 50 years now.
T. S. Eliot wrote,
“April is the cruelest month,
breeding lilacs out of the dead land,
mixing memory and desire,
stirring dull roots with spring rain.”
Could anything be cruel that brings lilacs?
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