Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lilac Time

By Jane-Ann Heitmueller

They laid dormant the fall we married and moved into his grandparents’ century old farmhouse, appearing only when the gentle warmth of spring coaxed them from the ground . Grandma had planted and tended them for years and had left them as a glorious surprise for the young couple. A gift for a new season and a new union.

Could it possibly have been forty-seven years the three of us, the Lilacs and two of us, had shared this annual seasonal welcome together at Mulberry Farm? A bright and joyous renewal of love, gratefulness and hope for the years ahead.

The rhythms of a lengthy marriage are only fully known and understood by the two people involved, those familiar steps, tones, touches, even mental thoughts. We only learn to truly appreciate, understand and cherish such comforting familiarities as the days turn into years.

How many hours had I spent standing at this old enamel kitchen sink? How many problems had been solved, angers calmed, tears shed and joys celebrated, while standing at this domestic shrine in meditative thought?

As a mother always senses the movements and sounds of her children, even so is her constant awareness of her mate. While busily tending to the dishes, I heard the creak of the back door opening and those footsteps that I had learned to recognize so well, yet never lacked a feeling of completeness when hearing. My back was turned and attention focused on the chore at hand.

Not realizing his closeness, I was a bit startled, yet instantly soothed to feel the tender, warm, familiar touch of his hand on my shoulder. “Happy spring, Sweetheart”, he whispered, as his lips brushed my ear. It was only then that I smelled the delicate fragrance of the Lilacs he held in his hand. My mind instantly reverted to those many previous years we had celebrated springtime’s arrival, when he always picked the first ones for me. He never forgot…not once in all this time.

“Oh, my “, I replied. “Thank you. I’ll go now and get the special little crystal vase we always use.” It was Lilac time again.