Monday, May 11, 2015

Lilac Day

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8

Lilac Day

Spring is always a remarkable surprise after a Minnesota winter, but my favorite day in the spring is lilac day.

When we bought our home years ago, a woody, bedraggled lilac bush in the backyard gave only stingy blooms. Each year, we thinned a third of the oldest branches from the ground. The beleaguered lilac has survived our ham-handed pruning, blizzards, hail, and ice-storms, and scorched leaves from the nearby barbecue.

But now it explodes with flowers each May. Every year I wait for the day that the blossoms unfold, and I gather armfuls to fill vases in every room.

The scent is liquid confection, and on any other day might be too cloying. But in spring's rain-scrubbed, earthy air, it's a perfect note of sweetness. Each year I also try every tip to make the blooms last. Yet they're fragile. Almost overnight, small lavender petals crumble and fall like a lace hanky; and the lilac's glory passes, leaving me a familiar melancholy.

We wait, we pray. We endure branch-snapping storms. And as God's sun coaxes, we bloom into a fragile, short-lived wonder. Lilac day is short. Life is short. A fistful of decades that amount to the swiftly wilting lilac day.

Lord, let me bring sweetness and beauty in every bud and stem and twig of my life until that day you change my fleeting life into eternal bloom. Amen.

Sharon Hinck

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