The lilacs are finally in bloom. When my husband and I built our house, my beloved grandmother gave me a little lilac bush, its lavender blossoms trimmed in white. She’s gone now, and I see that her gift was two-fold. I have a perennial reminder of my Mema, but I also have that scent.
Oh, that scent.
One enchanted breath, and I’m whisked to my childhood yard with its maple and pine and black-walnut canopy. I feel the sweet spring breeze on my face as I race to that giant lilac bush with its ancient blooms that envelop the old quonset hut, which I’d claimed as my own. I hear the rain soft on its roof as I settle in with a book and a blanket. I hear my mother’s voice calling me in for an afternoon snack. I see my father on the front porch, where he waits to share his iced tea with me and teach me opposites.
They say we can never go back, and that may be true. But if, even for the length of a breath, all my thoughts and senses exist in 1980…then I say I’ve achieved time travel.
I cherish my childhood memories, but as I approach middle-age I realize that even the dearest ones begin to fade to shades of gold. I find solace in the knowledge that, if (God willing) I make it to ninety like Mema and my mind grows tired, all I’ll need is a lilac.