The season of lilacs has come and gone, but as one of my (many) favorite spring flowers, the memory of their exquisite fragrance lingers. What also remains is their personal significance, and the impact of their glorious existence a little over a year ago.
Due to the cold temperatures I had spent the first two months of my daughter's life completely cooped up, with the exception of a few weekend or evening outings. Mercifully, spring came early, and by mid March I was out with the stroller and the little one all snug in her click-in infant carrier. As a new mom, being out and about with my three month old was a relief, but it also made me nervous as hell.
After about a week or so I started getting into a routine of going out for walks, weather permitting. In addition to the exercise, I was enjoying the sight of spring flowers appearing along the streets and in people's yards. One day while walking in a nearby neighborhood my heart leaped as I saw a lilac bush in full bloom in a hedgerow along the sidewalk.
Completely forgetting myself, I wheeled that stroller up to a freshly blossomed sprig of lilacs and promptly stuck my face in it. I spent at least a minute with the cool, smooth blossoms against my skin, drinking in the fresh, delicate fragrance that is like nothing else on earth.
And just like that, my spirits lifted. I felt like everything was going to be okay, and that I had satisfied a hunger, a longing that I didn't even know I had. I now know that hunger is to be outdoors, to make a point of experiencing the transient beauty of nature, now as a mother teaching and leading her child.
This spring I walked past the new blossoms of the same lilac hedge. I smiled at the blossoms, the fragrance, this now year-old experience, and the gratitude of how far I have come since this simple but beautiful lesson.
|Lilacs illuminated by sunshine|
This post is part of the daily gratitude practice I am working to develop during 2018. You can read all about it at ByChanceBuddhism!
May all beings be happy!