Monday, June 09, 2014

The Lilacs of Bucks County

I have lived in Florida nearly thirty years, more than half my life, but there are still a few things I miss from my life up north, in Pennsylvania. And in spring, the one that I think of most is the lilac.
When I was growing up, we had a lilac bush along the back side of the house, and each spring it would blossom with armloads of light purple blossoms just about this time, the last two weeks of May. They wouldn’t just appear in our back yard; they’d show up in bunches at the grocery and the florist. I loved to see them and smell them, and I enjoyed the heart-shaped green leaves as much as the fragrant flowers.

I’m not the only writer to find them appealing. Here are some great lilac quotes:
“Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.” ― T.S. Eliot
 “Just now the lilac is in bloom,
All before my little room” – Rupert Brooke

“When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed
And the great star early drooped in the western sky in the night” – Walt Whitman

“Go down to Kew in lilac-time, in lilac-time, in lilac-time;
Go down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn't far from London!) “ – Alfred Noyes

A black cat among roses,
phlox, lilac-misted under a quarter moon,
the sweet smells of heliotrope and night-scented stock. The garden is very still.
It is dazed with moonlight,
contented with perfume...”
― Amy Lowell
“The lilac branches are bowed under the weight of the flowers: blooming is hard, and the most important thing is - to bloom”   Yevgeny Zamyatin.

Sadly, unlike me, lilacs like the cold weather, so they won’t grow in Florida’s subtropical climate. So I will have to be content with memories and pictures.  But I do think the next Golden Retriever mystery that takes place in springtime will have to have lilacs!

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