Category Archives: Filling the Well

On lilacs and time travel

lilacThere’s something about scents; the way they fuse to moments.

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.


Writing contest at Literary Bits

For any of you Being June readers who are also writers, I’m hosting a writing contest over at Literary Bits.  If you’re interested, click over for all the details – including a chance to win an extra large Moleskine notebook.

(contest limited to residents of U.S. and Canada only).

Another Day (reblogged from Elements of Style)

I follow Bostonian Erin Gates’ blog for her style, but I mostly follow it because of her way with words.  In her post, Another Day, she shines the spotlight on the good amid the tragedy, something so many of us need right now.  

Ever seen an exploding hydrangea?

Me neither, until now.  Just a little floral firework to brighten your day, from  Click the link for more Exploded Flowers from artist Fong Qi Wei.

Waiting for spring

I step out the front door and into the sun – and I’m blasted by 30-degree winds.  Should have checked the weather.  So much for that walk in the woods.

I inspect my beloved lilac bush, always the first to burst, and it mocks me with its high-gloss buds wound up tight.  From beneath my porch,a newly-roused woodchuck sniffs the frigid air, and we call a silent truce; neither of us is ready for our summer-long battle to begin.  He retreats to his den.

The brown earth, despite its surface dampness, has no give.  The robins peck, in search of worm-sicles, and I hear them wonder why they bothered to return.

Everything waits for that day – you know the one – when the birds serenade, the sun warms and the breeze carries life-giving sweetness.  Windows swing open and jackets come off and, for that one perfect day, harmony reigns.

I used to say that, in Michigan, March is the longest month of the year.  I was wrong.  It’s April.