Trainswhistle had a blog not too long ago about her grandmother’s lilacs. After reading her beautiful post, I found myself wondering if my lilacs were blooming, so I went out to see. I was disappointed to see not only the bush devoid of blooms, but the second lilac looked like it was struggling.
The lilacs had been neglected when we moved into this house eight and a half years ago, placed in a shady spot where they had not thrived. At the suggestion of a garden store, we moved them to the front of the yard where the sun was bright throughout the day. We also planted a Little Gem Magnolia beside it.
Over the years I watched as the lilacs came out of their shock and began to thrive, eventually producing blooms that were very beautiful. But the Little Gem beside it also began to thrive, and eventually grew to a point where it blocked the much-needed sun from the lilacs, causing them to become stressed. Within a couple of years of the magnolia overtaking the lilac, they became covered with a fungus and stopped producing their magnificent purple flowers.
I consulted the Garden Store again. The woman who came out to look at them told me they needed to be moved to the other side of the magnolia–to stand in front of it. She said that the sun would take care of the fungus, and that once it was in the proper place it would recover.
I was skeptical, but we moved them. I watched as most of the leaves fell off, and the ones that stayed looked more like lambs ear than anything else–and I feared it was too late. But a month ago, I saw signs of life. The lilacs began to leaf out, although there were no blooms.
And then yesterday, as I drove up in the pouring rain I saw them. A tiny cluster of flowers peeking out from the shelter of the leaves.
The lilac behaves predictably. Darkness engenders a languishing state. Without brilliant light it cannot survive and it becomes sick, losing it’s ability to thrive, grow and shine. People are much like the lilac. Neglect, intolerance, and shadows can cause us to shrink from life and whither away. But given a little encouragement, kindness and sun, we too can grow and blossom like the lilac. All we need, is to be given the chance.