Rolling off the tongue as a gentle exhale, the word itself is a caress, filled with longing, anticipation of bloom and scent. All winter, life is white; no green on the deck, no leaves on the limbs, nothing from my outside, inside in a vase. The view is clean and clear, the scent is cold, warmed by dinner in the oven. The snows lie heavy with a taunt: your sweetness must wait.
The sun smiles, basking over winter’s insult until mankind, ever despairing spring’s arrival, awakens to the smell of new. The snow trickles home with a whisper, not a bang. White is banished and green emerges. Within the rush of the promise lies another cruel barb: it’s coming! But not yet.
The rain laughs at humanity, we so fickle to hope and to have hopes dashed. The new turns muddy, the green stays closed and we are forced to hang on, balanced between the valley of despair and the heights of hoping.
Then as we struggle, eyes closed and trust swimming dangerously out of view – buds appear. Petals unfurl. Life happens. No longer white, nor brown, but green, green everywhere.
And with wild release, all creation sings: The promise is true! It’s here now! And gloriously, the purple blossoms open and one by one by one, tumbling and falling together in a rush of lilac – the scent so heavy, perfuming my kitchen and my brain so that thought and pleasure mix and winter’s taunt is obliterated. The sweetness of color, of scent that makes me drunk, this is the celebration of the promise the grows unbidden in the human heart.
This was written last year (2012) when we were moving Salem, Ma about the time the lilacs were blooming.