Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ode to Purple Lilacs


NH: where the purple lilacs grow…
New Hampshire Natives
Who doesn't love the wonderfully fragrant bouquet of lilacs, wafting on the breezes across New Hampshire, in the month of May? Always one of my favorite flowers (so lacy and delicate, in varying shades of one of my favorite colors!), each spring I eagerly await the budding of the lilac bush outside our home, transplanted from a neighbor's yard—24 years ago—in celebration of our first home and the birth of our first son.

There's nothing quite like sitting out on the porch on a sunny day, and taking in that familiar fragrance carried on the warm spring breeze. My whole family looks forward to this small window of time (two weeks at most—and early this year!) when we can throw open the windows and let the heady fragrance in; we hack off a few glorious bunches for good measure, and bring them inside, allowing their luscious scent to seep from room to room. It's a comfort, and a reminder—of family, of home, and of childhood memories.

I'm a New Hampshire girl (born and raised and forever true). When I was young, we used to sing a happy song about NH and lilacs at summer camp, which captures the feeling perfectly:

I want to wake up, in the morning,
where the purple lilacs grow;
where the sun comes a peepin'
into where I'm a sleepin'
and the songbirds say, "hello!"

I want to wander, through the wild woods,
where the fragrant breezes blow,
and drift back, through New Hampshire,
where the purple lilacs grow.

I couldn't have put it better myself.


Caroline Tyson said...

i'm actually from maryland but my grandfather has a cottage on berry bay off of lake ossipee and a large rustic barn turned home farther up in the woods i've spent every summer and winter break in new hampshire for as long as i can remember and started going to a girls camp on lake winnepesaukee when i was nine. i remember spending summers in new hampshire to escape the heat of the south and spending white christmases around a fire with family. Memories of playing in the woods with my sister and cousins and *purple lilacs* growing every where, picking berries and singing that song. the laid back, very 1930's (even though i grew up in the nineties) vacations spent in the woods of new hamphire will never be forgotten

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