Shining Through

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.

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22 Responses to Shining Through

  1. Elisa says:

    I love lilacs, they remind me of my childhood. Pretty pictures!

  2. Beautiful Arnel. Thanks for the shout out and for the wonderful riff off my post. Lilacs are indeed inspirational this season. –tw

    • You are very welcome! Er, what’s a riff? and is it O.K.? 🙂

      • in music, it’s to take a melody and run with it (jazz musicians on stage riffing off one another). in writing it is to take an idea and eloborate on it: the lilacs. It’s an honor that the post meant that much to you that you’d write about lilacs too! 🙂

      • Oh…:-) It was a post that will stick with me–the entertaining of your grandmother and the visual I got from that–just sticks! And when I saw the pictures of your lilacs, I thought, “Oh, I wonder if mine will bloom?” Then when I saw those blooms, they seemed like a beacon for weathering hard times…

  3. Jim Cantwell says:

    Beautiful pictures Arnel, I love lilacs and mine are just beginning to bloom 🙂

  4. sayvan says:

    I absolutely love the scent of lilacs… there is just something about them that give you a feeling of inner peace…. I look forward to the bushes and trees in my yard coming into bloom… perhaps I may have to do a copy cat post!

  5. What a beautiful analogy! Harmoniously written and inspiring!!

  6. Just beautiful. I felt your excitement when you wrote, “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.” I’m a fan of plants too and whenever I see a new bloom, it gives me a sense of hope that it’s going to be an awesome day full of joy and possibilities. Have a blessed day.

  7. So well put…lovely photos…what we all need to know about life surely is right in front of our eyes in Nature. Glad to have a like-minded new friend 😉

  8. Lilly Sue says:

    That last picture is absolutely beautiful!

  9. Currie Rose says:

    These photos are beautiful! 🙂 The words are wonderful as well. Thank you. I particularly like, “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.” So very true and poetically stated.

    Have a wonderful evening,
    Currie

  10. Lynne Ayers says:

    Nice analogy. The scent of lilacs will always take me back to a June day when my mother cut some for me to take to my teacher. My lilacs are currently way ahead of schedule for this time of year, as is everything else since we’ve had such a long and mild spring.

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