Times of Lilac

Little amethyst flowers are slowly opening up to display their purple glory. It’s been a while; an entire year with its cold winter of waiting. Waiting for the sight, the scent. The most impressive view is from my bedroom window, under which purple and white bushes present a regal appearance. But not for long; their time is limited, as is ours. Two weeks in May fly-by quickly.

The flowering branches decorate vases across the house. A smell of hope and longing fills the space. Soon the flowers will turn light purple– the lilac color– right before they wither and drop to the floor. The bushes lose flowers and soon the emerald grass around them turns purple. The ornaments of the transient beauty.

There have been other lilac bushes in other places. A black and white picture in the family album shows my grandmother with my father; he is about 5 or 6 years old, right after the Great war. She holds the bouquet of lilacs, looking somewhere else. What is she thinking about? The luck of survival, the joy of late motherhood? Maybe she’s thinking of those other lilac bushes in those burned down places, the people in those little towns who vanished, who will never again inhale the intoxicating scent. The lilac is a promise of happiness; its feminine touch, and smell, and color carry women’s legacy throughout history. They carry pain, suffering, and loss; but also perseverance, gumption, and the desire to live on.

Lilacs are blooming in the spring; the time of renewal, rebirth and rejuvenation. As Life itself, the flower is bittersweet. It is beautiful, touching, but ever so fleeting. Lilac flowers are impermanent, but they are loyal. They come back every year and when they are gone, vibrant green leaves and brown branches stand as reminders of glimpses to the eternal beauty.

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