Friday, April 23, 2010

Hope

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.



20 comments:

Julie Vision Designs said...

I love this--

I love the memory, the images and the emotion.

And, having seen your parents lilacs, I want to invent a device that will let me steal their orchard.

*Lissa* said...

Love, love, love. I have similar feelings from lilacs and can't wait until our bloom.

Hope you get some time to relax (and sleep!) this weekend, girl! xoxo

Hyacynth said...

Beautiful thoughts, Erin. I'm going to think hope all day today as I see the lilacs. And I'm going to stop and smell them, totally unashamed of sticking my nose in those buds.
I remember lilacs as one of my best childhood smells, too. We had bushes surrounding our front door, right next to my bedroom window.

Kaycee said...

Lovely.

My favorite "welcome baby" gift for my daughter was a lilac bush. We planted it out front for her and have been oh-so-careful with it just like you. The people that got it for her thought it would be nice that it would bloom around her birthday every year, and her middle name is Violet. :) I hope to take a picture of her by it every year, I am still waiting for it to bloom this year.

Glad the lilacs bloomed for you today.

Jennifer said...

Lilacs have always been a favorite of mine! We had huge "bushes" in our yard and the smell was intoxicating. There is NOTHING like the smell of a lilac. We live near Rochester, NY and they hold a Lilac Festival (http://www.lilacfestival.com/) every year. Since we moved here 6 years ago we have gone each year. I never knew that there were so many varieties of lilacs (and actually a lot of different smells!). I've posted pictures on my blog from the last 2 years (in May) if you want to see some pictures. I haven't seen any in bloom yet...maybe in a few weeks and I can't wait to smell them!!

Lyndsay said...

Note to self - dig up some of mom and dad's lilac bush before they sell the cabin.
I will be thanking YOU later!!

Stillmary said...

Beautiful. I agree with you on the lilacs. Every year I tell my kids that the perfect Mother's Day would have me waking up in the morning with bouquets of lilacs ALL OVER the house.
And, just a thought, maybe Tommy's daytime naps should be shortened significantly so he can save the 'tired' for at night. It would be hard for the sitter at first but ultimately much easier on Erin.

Becky said...

Oh I couldn't agree more! LOVE LOVE lilacs!

The power of Mother Nature.

Anne said...

I am the same way with Hydrangeas, if only they had a scent. Love the picture and can relate to the waking boy in the middle of the night.

Toni said...

I know EXACTLY that nostalgic feeling you are describing. When I was little, my grandma had (what we thought) was a skyscraper sized lilac bush. Even thinking back now, it was pretty big - because we actually hollowed out the inside and played inside of it. There was a hallway, a living room AND a bedroom. LOL I still can't get enough of the lilacs when they bloom ... like...I could almost eat them they smell so good. I now have six of them in my own yard. :)

Heather said...

when i first moved into my house, i transplanted a lilac sapling from my grandparetns home to my front garden. every spring i would review the yard with my stepson and point out things that were NOT weeds are were NOT to be weedwhacked - and every year until he went away to college he weedwhacked my lilac! but it persevered and several years later it finally bloomed. i love lilacs - they are glorious - and hardy :-)

indi said...

Beautiful flowers, beautiful post =) <3

Heather of the EO said...

Yes. That smell. It just can't be replicated. Ever. one of my favorites. And I love this post, too. I love the way you see things.

sarah said...

oh i'm so jealous! Lilacs are my absolute favorite (I'm from NH, the lilac state for crying out loud) and I miss them out here on the west coast.

I can smell them just looking at that picture. It's so wonderful to watch one grow from a tiny plant to a beautiful blooming tree. Enjoy!

Haley said...

This is a very cool memory you've shared.
We don't have Lilacs here in the south, but when I visited New Hampshire a few years I got to see them for the first time and I remember just wanting to bathe in that smell.

Mimi's Toes said...

I love this post. I planted a lilac bush last year and it hasn't taken off yet. I hope I get to experience mine soon too. I will breath Hope over it every day now and share my picture when I see the beautiful bloom like yours.

Mama Zen said...

This is beautiful. Enjoy your lilacs!

Sharon - Mom Generations said...

Lilacs are like LIFE to me. I need them and cherish them and love them. I think I told you that Barry and I planted a row of lilacs along our driveway and they are the first things I see each time I open my side kitchen door. They are beginning to bloom now. I can smell their loveliness and I marvel at the lacy blooms of white and purple. I, too, have had lilac-love since I was a very small girl. When we lived in the house where we raised our children, I transplanted some lilacs that were already there to the front of our home. They greened... but didn't bloom for many years. One day, like a miracle, there were the blooms! I was ecstatic. Later, while showing my lilacs to my neighbor, she told me that transplanted lilacs take 7 years to re-bloom. I have never actually researched this fact... ! I am so happy for your HOPE in the shape of a lilac. Lilacs are intricate little miracles sent to give us that HOPE. xo!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I love lilacs and am now concerned, ours aren't blooming yet! But they will...

Hope this week is a wonderful one for you.

Steph

Such The Spot said...

We had a lilac bush in my side yard growing up and, to this day, I can identify the scent of it in an instant. Yes, hope is a perfect way to describe it.