Lilacs, the End and a Beginning

I remembered the day. It was May and I’d finished planting in one of our gardens. I stood up and brushed the fresh earth from my knees. Removing my work gloves, I refastened the elastic that had loosened during my labor. Soft strands of hair had fallen from the knot and ended up flying in my mouth as the breeze blew. The scent of lilacs filled my nostrils and I hummed a lazy tune.

I walked up the steps of the back porch and picked up another flat of colorful pansies. I dug and dropped the hardy flowers with delicate roots into each aperture and covered them with fresh dirt. The air smelled of mud. Some of the dried grit, wafted in the warm breeze and settled between my teeth. It felt as if I was humming while holding a piece of sandpaper in my mouth. I spat a couple of times to try and purge the grains, but it didn’t help. I’m sure anyone walking by would have laughed at the young woman in short coveralls spitting into the dirt while she planted flowers.

You walked up beside me and knelt in the grass. You didn’t say much, which was unusual. I continued to dig holes and you dropped the pansies into them. When the plastic container was empty, you carried it to the garage and threw it in the recycling bin. As you wandered back out to the yard, I glimpsed your face. You looked ill.

“Honey, what is it?”

“I have to leave.”

“Do we need more flowers?”

“No, I’m leaving. I’ve packed my suitcase. It’s in the hall closet.”


“We’ve worked so damn hard and you’re not happy. You try, everyday. But I know you’re not.”

I turned away and stared at our freshly planted pansies. The tears came, because I know you were right. I stood and walked up to you, kissed you lightly on the lips. My nose ran and I wiped it on my shorts. I ambled to my lilac bush, leaned into it and took in the potent smell. The fresh blooms reminded me of childhood. Of easier times when all I had to worry about were mosquito bites and scraped knees.

“It’s okay for you to go. I don’t know how I’ll live though. Where I’ll go or what I’ll do.”

“You are an incredibly strong woman, you will find your way.”

You walked away and I attacked the bush. I pulled as many blooms off from it as I can stand. My fingers ached and are covered with scratches. With the bush almost bare, I carried my bounty into the house. I pulled three vases from under the sink and jammed them full. The air is already redolent with the smell of spring. I shivered as I heard the back the door slam. I knew you were gone for good. I placed my hands on the counter and wailed.

In my heart, this is what I’ve wanted, but my soul is that of a child’s. I longed to be cloaked in the familiar, and held. To be taken care of. As I placed the vases of flowers on book shelves and tables, my tears dried. I felt a strength grow within me. A light began to burn so brightly that if you touched your fingers to mine, you would burn.

I headed back outside and continued to place pansies in the little holes we’d dug together. The gardens may be mine now, but I realized, so was my life. I had to better learn to live it.

24 thoughts on “Lilacs, the End and a Beginning

  1. Hi Rennee,
    sorry I’ve not been around, I’ve been off for a and living, you know how it is, which i suppose is considerably better than no life and not living! 😀

    Great story ( as usual ) and I’m glad to know that it IS a story 🙂
    Hope you are well, I’ll try and catch up as soon as I can,
    Love n hugs
    Nick xxx

    • Hello there my friend,

      Yes, it IS a story. This is my favorite time of the year. The lilacs are in bloom and everything smells so damn good. Like flowers and mud. It’s so damn nice to be outside, even with the bugs. In my heart, I’m still a sappy romantic. I almost gave up, but my stories are coming to me again. Glad you’re back. I’ve missed you.

      Love, Renee

  2. Gave up Renee ???? 😦
    Did you have a spot of writers block?
    It happens to me sometimes ( every year! ) but then some (shitty 😦 ) thing ( usually ) happens and all of a sudden I manage to make time to post 😀 though I’m nowhere near as prolific as you are ( or as good or as interesting)
    It can be a bit worrying too when the words and ideas won’t come, but a block is usually only temporary, class is permanent.
    I’ve missed you too Sparkly, and I think I’ve got a load of catching up to do, so if you see a load of likes and no comments you’ll know why 🙂

    I’m glad you’re stories are coming back again as it’s always a pleasure and never a chore reading them, though one or two of them have been a tad racy 😉
    Don’t work too hard, and take care of yourself,
    love n hugs
    Nick xxx

    • Writer’s block sucks. I hate when I sit there and nothing comes to me. I want so badly to write, and there’s nothing, nada, zip, zilch and a big fat fucking zero.

      I know that I didn’t have it that bad, but when a person has a newly discovered passion, you want to explore it. All the damn time.

      The stories are coming back to me. The rants, humor, romance, anger and sadness too. Even a touch of the dirty, dirty. I’ve been published too. Four short stories with Ether Books.

      I think I’m getting better at it. It’s all I want to do Nick. I want to be immersed in written word. I want to drown in it.

      Love, Renee

      • Hi Renee,
        “I’ve been published too. “… I can’t believe I missed this first time round.. Congratulations!!!
        You are definitely getting better, but then you were pretty good anyway 😉
        You keep on writing Renee, but don’t drown though!
        love n hugs
        Nick xxx

  3. Good story. A solemn story of understanding, even though painful. Glad it wasn’t your real story! I love lilacs! Like the woman in your story…they remind me of my childhood.
    Beautiful blog!

    • Thank you so much for your comment. I’m glad you’re here. You’ll find that tragic romance is my specialty. Though not always the norm. Happy to have you here. Can’t wait to read you.

  4. That was … remarkable. I was glad to hear it was just a story, not something happening. You are an amazing woman and, if you weren’t happy, you’d have told him and you would both still be talking about it until it was settled.
    That one, though, made my eyes a bit misty.

    • The life of a lilac bloom is short. Two weeks at most. It is the most beautiful flower I’ve ever laid eyes on and the aroma can make me drunk. Thanks for the sweet comment honey.

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