(2) Thirty Days of Grateful Praise: The Fragrance of Lilacs

When we first moved to the Doublewide Ranch four years ago, we were just on the cusp of spring. It was only then that I noticed just how little landscaping our new place actually had. There were two undistinguished-looking shrubberies out front and a stunted, scraggly wild tangle of something out back, but otherwise it was just grass and weeds growing right up to the foundation of the doublewide.  I was quite dejected to realize that there would be none of my favorite daily spring ritual—checking the flower garden for new soft green shoots emerging from the winter-hard ground.

Of course, that would all change later in the spring and summer when I planted seeds and completely blew our grocery budget buying shrubs and flowers, but until then, I knew I’d keenly miss my cherished spring routine.  Seeing perennials resurrect themselves year after year still seems such a miracle to me.

Late in March, I decided to take a closer look at the scraggly small bush out back and was delighted to see some peculiar little flower buds that looked like miniature grape clusters.  (I was amazed, really, that anything could grow in the thick, almost gummy clay soil here.)  I’d never seen buds like that so was eager to see what kind of flower it produced.  It would be almost May before I found out.

It was lilacs, of course.  I’d seen (and smelled) lilac blossoms before, but never knew what the buds looked like.  But once they came into full flower, there was no mistaking what they were.  And the lilacs were right outside our kitchen window, so every time I stood at the sink washing vegetables or dishes, I breathed in their heady fragrance.

Later that summer, I transplanted some of the little offshoots that had popped up around the backyard lilac into the flower bed I’d made in the front.  It’s taken four years for that little twig of a thing to fill out enough to produce flowers, but it finally did this year.  So now I can breathe in the sweet fragrance on the front porch, too.  This year, my roses and lilacs bloomed at the same time, so every time we came home, we’d open our car doors to, first, the fragrance of roses, then up the walkway to lilacs.

It was almost too much to take in.  So intoxicating that I was always tempted to linger on the porch, even when duty called.  And most of the time, I did linger.  Sometimes, I even sat in the swing, closed my eyes, and breathed in bliss.

I lingered.  Yes, I did.  Even when I had a long list of Things That Must Be Done.  And I don’t regret it for a minute.


9 Responses to “(2) Thirty Days of Grateful Praise: The Fragrance of Lilacs”

  1. Chris Says:

    Well, I think Smell The Flowers tops the list of Things That Must Be Done. We all have our priorities.

  2. Darla Says:

    I raise my cup to you in salute to “lingering”! Hip-hip-hooray! :-))))

  3. Sharon Says:

    Although I despised the wording, there is a quote from the book/movie, “The Color Purple” which has stuck with me all these years. The quote: “God gets ________ off if we fail to notice the color purple.” (Not exact, but close enough) It became a mantra to me not just to always notice the color purple, but to notice EVERYTHING i’d always been to “busy” to see. Not only do lilacs smell wonderful, but they are the most beautiful color of purple – how could anyone NOT notice them?

  4. Bikbik & Roro Says:

    Gorgeous, I can almost smell them! Their blossoming – from humble, apparently unpromising beginnings – makes me think of what it says in Galatians: “let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint”. And that butterfly is a work of art too 🙂

  5. Bonnie Jacobs Says:

    Speaking of purple (see Sharon’s comment), the hyacinths my grandmother grew were purple. Whenever I smell hyacinths, I am transported back to the ones she planted, which grew beside my sandbox in the 1940s. I wrote about them here: http://bonniesbooks.blogspot.com/2008/04/memories-evoked-by-smells.html

  6. Betsyfromtennessee Says:

    How wonderful, Beth. For some unknown reason, I have never had Lilacs–although I love them, and love their fragrance… So glad you have such beauties in your yard.. What a great “praise” post today!!!

  7. Vicki Lane Says:

    Beautiful! Lilacs are such a pleasure. My dooryard lilac was a shoot from a departed friend’s yard — a treasure of fragrance, flower, and memory..

  8. Plowing Through Life Says:

    That is a gorgeous photo, Beth. The smell of lilacs is intoxicating. And like you, I am amazed every spring when I see perennials returning. It truly is a miracle.

  9. Benjamin Says:

    Funny that I couldn’t smell them unless it rained. I have so much of my sense-brain devoted to sound, though. Thanks for taking care of the birds’ favorite garden.

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