The lilac in bloom

MAY 06 04

The first thing I noticed when I drew the curtain back this morning was the lilac tree at the bottom of the garden. It was in full bloom, and had reached that perfect light violet colour – lilac – that is such a wonderful contrast to the green of the leaves and the grass. Before they open, the buds are a darker purple, just a few open at first and then gradually the dark purple is transformed across the tree to lilac.

Last year and this I have missed sitting out in the sun as the lilac comes into bloom and its gorgeous scent is wafted across to me on the breeze as I read, this year and last it has been pouring down with rain at the time the lilac blooms. So this morning I made a point of striding across the soaked grass to cup a few branches of the blossom in my hands drawing the fragrance to my nose. I noticed to my disappointment that some of the lilac blossom was already turning brown and dying off, perhaps hastened by the rain, while some buds were still a tightly closed dark purple. It seems this tree of such beauty is only perfect for a brief moment, and yet I thought to myself, what is perfect, is this very transformation not perfect in itself? It merely accentuates that all is change, without the browning and withering away of the flowers the seeds cannot form. There is a larger lilac several gardens down, probably my own lilac was not planted here by human hand, I expect a blackbird brought a seed from the larger tree.