Happy May Day! Before May Day became Labor Day in Europe, it was a day when you celebrated by giving those you loved baskets of posies. Lilies of the Valley, those short lived, sweet smelling blossoms were the flowers of choice but any spring flower would do. As a child, I remembered weaving little baskets out of construction paper with handles on them so that you could hang the posies on the doorknobs of the houses of friends and family members. Usually the flowers were sent anonymously. It’s a nice custom. Unless you’re somewhere where lilies of the valley grow, they’re hard to come by, but it’s a lovely thing to get a few blossoms from an anonymous admirer. In Europe, even though the Labor Movement is celebrated on that day, people still give one another small posies as a reminder that life is bursting forth. Don’t’ hesitate to take up the custom!
So, why is the title Lilacs you may be asking? Well (she says, settling into story mode), at the house where I grew up the Lillies of the Valley grew under the Lilac bushes. Both bloomed at the same time. Both have an amazing odor. Both of those scents remind me of spring and transport me back to another world. To this day, I’m excited by Lilacs. When I finish this post, I will walk across the bridge over the Susquehanna River, which is a favorite morning activity. Right as I step onto the bridge there is a huge dark purple Lilac that hangs over the stone railing. I’ve been waiting, and today is the day it blooms!
Over 10 years ago, I married two very friends. It was actually in the beginning of April, but, in my mind, I always place it at the beginning of May since that’s when Lilacs bloom. This couple married on a mountain in Marin Co. CA. A stunning redhead, she wore pewter grey. She walked over that mountain path carrying a huge armful of Lilacs. At the end of the ceremony, as we walked back, she was chilly, so she borrowed my black velvet cape, which is lined with dark purple.
When I think of that wedding, it’s a feast of the senses that I remember more than any particular words that were spoken. The colors, the smells, the beauty of the mountain, all of these create a collage of memories that end with their oh-so-happy faces.
In that case, their associations with Lilacs combined with my own to create an unforgettable moment. Lilacs may not be your flower. But whatever your flower is, whatever your touchstone is, that touchstone will call up memories in others and help cement that moment in their hearts and minds.
Life is rich and we should call upon the richness of life and celebrate it in as many ways as we can!
You can do this too! Your love deserves nothing less!
Believing in you and your love,