every spring, during all the years i was away from michigan, my thoughts turned toward lilacs.
i remembered the purple lilacs by the back door, the white lilacs behind the house, and the pale violet lilacs around the neighborhood.
i remembered the lilac bouquets in the middle of the kitchen table. they were usually in a white hourglass vase with a red & yellow flower on it.
i remembered my youthful desire for a wedding bouquet of lilacs. (though i wasn’t entirely sure how to reconcile a spring flower with a fall wedding.)
i remembered the scent. it was sweet but not cloying, floral but not heady or overpowering.
to me, lilacs were spring.
when i moved to portland, i fell in love with tulips.
i loved the rainbow of colors, the waxy green leaves, the soft wide petals.
i loved their arrival – early in the year, when the grey + rain threatened to overtake me.
i loved the way the flowers drooped, slowly, over the edge of the vase, as if they were too heavy for their stems.
i loved the way the petals dropped, slowly, one by one.
even as i reveled in the tulips, i never forgot the lilacs.
to me, tulips looked like spring, but lilacs smelled like spring, and every year i missed them.
this spring, lilacs were not in my memory, but in my life.
i watched lilacs blow in the wind while wandering around the neighborhood with the pup.
i gathered lilac bouquets for the kitchen table and my bedroom and my grandparents’ house.
i watched the birds come and go from the bird feeder nestled in the lilac bush by the kitchen window.
i buried my nose in the blossoms, and closed my eyes in pleasure.
in the scent of lilacs, my past and present said hello.
it is spring.
yes, it is spring.