Sunday, May 2, 2010

52 Blessings— Syringa vulgaris


I used to babysit seventy-something-year-old Emma, who loved her African violets like they were babies or kittens. We spent a lot of time in her bedroom, where she kept a three-tray plant light, while she told me of each violet’s origin, heritage, and health history. It was a snoozer conversation topic for sure, but I listened to all fifty histories because they were so important to her . . . and she needed me to help her clean the trays.

I didn’t know then why Emma loved her African violets so—perhaps because they needed her, or maybe because she couldn’t get out much so they gave her winter color, or maybe it was because they were green and purple and purple and green are a beautiful color combination. All I knew then was that Emma’s violets were a blessing to her even though they were a terrible bore to me.


And now the story has come full circle.  I love our lilac bushes, all 150 yards of them,—perhaps it is because they give our expansive lawn a pretty border, perhaps it is because they are green and purple and purple and green are a beautiful color combination, perhaps it is because our whole world smells heavenly for the week they are in bloom, perhaps it is because they give life back to winter. All I know is our lilacs are a beautiful blessing to me; they remind me of the love and power of a Creator. And if you’d like to come sniff and collect a bouquet we’d love to have you come for a visit. We’ll even offer you one of Grace’s Snickerdoodles from the cookie jar.

Emma makes perfect sense to me now.

10 comments:

Deanna/Mimi said...

Absolutely beautiful! We have some too but never thought about a row of them..thank you. Ned cut down many of our old huge poplar trees as they were rooting in the lawn. What a loss! I have about 4 lilac bushes in that area, so thanks to you I will finish the rest with more lilacs. Thank you for sharing.

Mindy said...

Can I really come and get some?? I love lilacs! I have two very small starts. That is a great story.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Truly Mindy, the invitation is real!

Julie said...

I wish I could come! I love the smell of lilacs and was despairing they didn't have them in Norway our first spring here and then my landlord Rolf brought me a bouquet from his bush! They smelled heavenly and made my whole day. Now he brings me some every year. I love that you have a whole row. What a blessing!

maddie jane ellsworth said...

How pretty.

deidra said...

Lilacs remind me of my grandma. She couldn't resist snitching a few from any bush she saw. I always think it's fitting they bloom around Mother's Day.

I might need to go find a closer bush to snitch a few from, and fill our apartment with the heavenly scent.

hennchix said...

May I just come and sit in your yard and sniff them? I love lilacs, but Paul and Dylan are pretty allergic to them. So, please mum, can I have a sniff?

Cali said...

I was supposed to get married in May so I could have lilacs for my wedding. I'm now realizing I forgot to have a LOT of things I alway planned on having for my wedding. HOWEVER, January to May is a LOOOOONG time to wait to marry someone. Maybe I'll start planning my funeral instead now. I'm going to die in May and I want lilacs at my funeral.

Donna Chapin said...

Lilacs have so many memories for me. My Great Grandma had a long row of lilacs with different varieties, light purple, dark purple, white ones, doubles ones. Her birthday was May 1st and all of the family would come to celebrate, and I would pick a big bouquet and give them to her for birthday. Hmm - I really didn't get that I was giving her, her own flowers. Thanks for letting me go down memory lane.

michelle said...

I love lilacs! We have 3 or 4 bushes in the backyard and they make spring that much sweeter. 150 yards! That would make a lot of bouquets.

p.s. green and purple really are a wonderful color combination.