I stood in Abby’s drive today and breathed deep the heady fragrance of lilacs.
I closed my eyes, tilted my nostrils toward the breeze, and sniffed to capture the aroma trail.
I nearly hyperventilated for the joy of it.
The bushes grow wild there, all lavender and white.
I watched a woman cut a bouquet from them yesterday, her car parked right next to the “No trespassing/private drive” sign.
I drove on.
Because I understand.
As soon as the snow melts, I obsess over the first signs of lilac leaves, then the buds, then the blooms.
From my office and our bedroom windows, I look down on a wild, overgrown area. A log cabin once stood there. We still find artifacts.
It’s my own lilac overlook.
It was my own lilac overlook.
It wore a billowing white gown in the spring.
Key word. Wore.
Until the Great Lilac Massacre of 2007 when the OCD demon took control of my son.
With a chainsaw.
For a little spring cleanup.
I heard it. I ran outside and stumbled into devastation.
Broken and bleeding limbs lay everywhere.
I smelled death.
And when Jeremy saw my face, I’m pretty sure he thought it was his.
I considered it, but a good long cry seemed a better choice.
My husband thinks the earliest bushes may have graced the cabin.
But they’re gone now.
Except for a handful of survivors that refused to die.
I wish he’d taken out the trees instead.
He knows he broke my heart.
And stole my joy
A fleeting joy.
A replaceable joy.
Because nobody can steal the true joy. The inner joy that remains through broken dreams and butchered expectations. The joy that remains steady through the autumns and winters of life as well as the springs and summers. The joy that does not fluctuate with circumstances.
And if I’m very still and tilt my nose upward, I catch a sweet scent of One once broken and bleeding.
One who refused to die.
“Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.” Psalm 119:111
What brings you joy?
What is your favorite flower?
This post is part of the Blog Carnival on JOY. For more thoughts, visit One Word at a Time.