lilac, spring flower

Stop and Smell the Lilac

The flower is always moving, changing, blossoming, and giving life to the birds and the bees. The ocean’s tides rise and fall with the phases of the moon. The currents change direction. And depending on how the sun hits the water, the colors and shades of blue are in fact, infinite. Everything around you and everyone is always changing. Take time to smell the roses. Take time to watch the tide. Take time to see your love with new eyes. It would be a shame to miss it.

 Kayko Tamaki

When we moved into our house eight years ago, there was a misshapen old bush badly positioned and blocking the steps into the garden from our decking. We consistently moaned about it but didn’t remove it, waiting to see what it might turn into.

Be patient – don’t rush to judgement

The next Spring, as the leaves and buds came out, we decided it must be a lilac bush. So far so good, I’d had two in my garden as a child so the thought of another conjured nice memories – I was looking forward to this.

But the flowers weren’t what I expected. There weren’t many blooms and they didn’t open fully, we wondered if the bush may be old and unhealthy. Again, we discussed removing it but I didn’t want to give up.

Not being expert gardeners, we waited until the flowers had all gone and cut the bush back as far as we could waiting to see what would happen next.

Some of us develop slowly

The following year we saw an improvement.

The leaves and blossoms which grew were healthier, but there still weren’t many and the branches were now getting straggly. We wondered if we’d made a mistake with our previous pruning (we really aren’t gardeners) but the positioning of the lilac bush meant we had to be a quite brutal with it – otherwise we couldn’t even get the mower onto the lawn!

Again, we cut the bush right back – and had a conversation about removing it completely. But, I still wasn’t ready to give up.

Things change

A few years ago we discovered our deck was rotting – again we talked about taking out the bush which was in the way and still not looking it’s best. Instead, we redesigned the decking and gave the lilac bush a little more space.

We stuck with it. Each year our lilac tree has got stronger and more beautiful.

The flowers don’t last long, but while they’re out the world seems a more beautiful place. I actually look forward to the time I’ll be able to cut an armful off, trying to get them into a vase so I bring the gorgeous fragrance into the house.

Stopping is the best way to enjoy the view

This year I’ve been particularly aware of our lilac tree.

It may be because we’ve been at home so much more than usual, and of course the weather has been fantastic. I’m choosing right now, to be conscious of so much good in my life and to consider those things which are important to me.

Over the past eight years, as we often discussed the fate of this single plant in our garden, I hadn’t considered it as anything other than a lilac tree. At the moment I feel as if this is a small symbol of my wellbeing and sanity – a thing which consistently makes me smile.

Have you taken any lessons from unusual sources this month?