Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lilacs in bloom

I absolutely love lilacs. I love the strong fragrance. I love the soft purple color and the tiny little flowers all in a cluster. I love how lilacs shout, "It's SPRING!"

I've lived in 6 houses and 3 apartments in my 20 years of marriage. I just had to plant a couple of lilac bushes in my first home but there was a problem. We didn't stay long enough for the small plants to grow much. My attempts to walk out my front door and breathe in the sweet lilac smell didn't bear much fruit because we always moved while the plants were still puny.

Well here it is... 6th house and I'm trying once again. Last spring we planted 2 lilac bushes at the side of the house. This spring I can see my lilac flowers coming. What joy! What bliss! I know that I won't be around when the bushes are fat and full and twice my height, but I'll take the small pleasures as they come.

 When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom’d

WHEN lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d—and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

O ever-returning spring! trinity sure to me you bring;
Lilac blooming perennial, and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love

I remember grade 11 English and looking forward to Walt Whitman's poem about my beloved flower. What a shock to realize that it was about the death of Abraham Lincoln, not the joy of lilacs. Not the delight at the onset of spring. But when I was thinking of a title for my blog, I returned to Whitman's poem. I haven't looked at it once since Mr. Eyre's class, but there I was, reading through the lines.

I've done a bit of growing over the past 25 years and I can appreciate the "sprig of lilac" Whitman gives to his beloved Lincoln. The literal girl that I am, I still can't fully grasp all the nuances my classmates claimed to find and understand. But I can now read it and feel the beauty and the love in the words.

No comments: