When Shane and I first got married, my mom dug up a tiny lilac bush for me to plant at our new house. My parents have a whole row of mature lilacs in their orchard, so growing up, I would become almost intoxicated with the scent of these lilacs. In the spring, I would cut bouquets for my busdriver and teachers. This scent, a scent that I've yet to find decently replicated in a bottle, brings me back to childhood, to spring, and I swear, if hope had a scent, it'd smell like lilacs. If Heaven has a scent, it must smell like lilacs, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, and vanilla.
I babied that plant, checking on it throughout the winter, breathing a sigh of relief when the leaves would shoot up vibrant green every March, chastising Shane if he got too close to it with the mower. This has been a long week. Tommy has woken up every single night this week. This morning, he was awake at 3:30, just sitting in his crib, clapping and shouting happily to himself. I'm thankful that he's healthy and happy, but goodness, I wish he would just sleep. This morning, as I was climbing wearily into my car at 6:30, I noticed a flash of purple out beyond the fence. I blinked, cleared my eyes, and the flash of purple was still there.
Without even setting my things in my car, I ran to the back and yes, five years later, my baby lilac was blooming for us. Not caring who was watching and what it would do to my allergies, I buried my face in the blossoms and breathed deeply. I took a picture with my phone, and then before leaving, I buried my face again and breathed it all in. I got into my car with a little less weariness. Sure, I'm still tired and sure I'd rather not be at work, but the scent of lilac is still clinging in my nose and with it, the breath of hope.