Our lilacs have finally bloomed: exasperated with the changeable spring, they've defiantly burst into lavender and white glory. The smell is intoxicating, reminiscent of childhood and sunshine and ragged-stemmed bouquets gathered by the armful for grateful mothers and teachers.
Lilacs require neither weeding nor fertilizing. They fling their fragrance to the skies for any who care to stop and enjoy it. Their heart-shaped leaves glow brightly now; in dusty summer, the green hedges provide perches for visiting birds and playhouses for young explorers.
Sean Hannity shares these bits of lilac lore:
"Here in Maine the Lilac Trees are planted near old foundations or older homes, living for well over a hundred years.
An old traditional gift to a new marriage was a Lilac tree. Given for the lovely fragrance and wonderful light purple flowers that come every spring, it was the sign of health, well-being, and fortune when planted near the homes.
Almost every wedding had this gift given or even planted by a family member in the wife's choice of locations. Most are planted near outhouses and near kitchen windows or near entrances for scent and view of the flowers.
The White Lilac was often planted for a remembrance tree. Loss of a loved one is often marked by one of the White Lilacs. They are often found growing near older grave yards or planted in a corner of the farms."
Lilacs appear as nature gathers itself for the blooming frenzy of summer. They are a gentle, fragrant promise of the warmth and color that is to come.
"You are the great flood of our souls
Bursting above the leaf-shapes of our hearts,
You are the smell of all Summers,
The love of wives and children,
The recollection of the gardens of little children..."
-Amy Lowell, Lilacs