Living With Lilacs
Do you have a favorite flower? I have gone through many over the years, from white daisies with sunshine centers to eggshell-colored peonies and tissue-thin ranunculus. In the past few years, however, my loyalty has lied with lilacs. I’m enamored by the floral symbology of lilacs, their intoxicating fragrance, and their beautiful, trembling buds. According to Greek mythology, the story of the lilac begins with an attractive nymph named Syringa, who turned herself into the aromatic bush in order to escape the zealous chasing of Pan, the god of the forests and fields. Lilacs bloom with each returning spring, living short, yet vibrant lives. In parts of the Mediterranean such as Greece and Cyprus, lilacs are purportedly called paschalia, and are frequently associated with Easter. I love the lilac’s delicate buds and all the things they stand for: youthful innocence, love’s first emotions, purity, protection, confidence. My husband and I loved lilacs so much that they became the focal flower at our early spring wedding.
I will never forget the fragrance that lifted up off the arrangements and lingered beneath the twinkle lights in a sweet spring haze. We had lilacs running down the white-clothed dinner tables, tucked inside bridesmaid’s bouquets, and cascading down our 4-tier buttercream wedding cake. I’ll always savor their scent, a joyous reminder of life’s fleeting beauty and its plentiful perfume.