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White Lilacs

9 Jun

There was a white lilac tree in the backyard of the house that I grew up in. It was behind my sister’s room. In the warmer weather whenever she had her window open the fragrance of white lilacs would waft into her room carried on the breeze. I loved that tree.

I remember at my First Communion party I met a distant relative for the first time. We called her “Aunt” Carmela, but I think she was a cousin of my grandfather’s. She was ninety-two years old! I was so impressed that she was almost one hundred. I had never met anyone “that old” before. My sister and I went out in the backyard and brought Aunt Carmela a bouquet of white lilacs from our tree. It was the first and last time I ever saw her. It’s been almost thirty years since I lived in the house that I grew up in. I still have dreams of that house, and I still think of that lilac tree. They both epitomize a perfect childhood, evoking happy memories in a more innocent time.

Recently I noticed that the tree in front of my house is a white lilac tree. I don’t know how it could have escaped my notice in the year-and-a-half that I’ve lived here. This is the second full spring and summer I’ve lived here, but I don’t remember this tree blooming and giving off that familiar lilac fragrance last year. We’ve had a lot of rain the past two weeks, so maybe it’s blooming early or with more determination than last year. The fragrance of lilacs greets me every time I leave the house. I can’t help but feel that this is a little gift to me. I have my white lilac tree back.