Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lilac Time Again

The single most lovely scent in my world is the lilac.  Whether lilac or white, they smell about the same...which is nothing short of intoxicating, almost like ragtime for my nose.

Although it's not my most favorite of the seasons (that goes to summer), I admire spring.  I enjoy the first gradual change on the ground from Andrew Wyeth browns to patches of green.  One day all the crocuses spring up and bloom.  Forsythia, no longer fooled by the odd warm day, blossoms and little blue-and-white flowers appear on the fringes of grass. Daffodils, hyacinths, and other early bulbs arise and the upward migration begins,..the migration from green grass to budding bushes to flowering trees to buds pushing the petals off the branches to make way for the leaves.  The green keeps rising until the leaves explode out on the trees.  Along the way, the dandelions' green leaves get greener and one day their unique yellow dots the landscape.  Look a little close and the yellow is accented by the beautiful violets.  And then the dandelion seeds sprout and beg to be whooshed into flight.

Sounds change, too.  Along with the sparrows and wrens, winter is the time for the crows to be songbirds, as well as the geese that now stay through the winter honking on their morning and evening exercise flights.  I don't know why I think they sound mournful or melancholy; a flock ten or twelve nevertheless is a welcome change from the winter stillness.  One morning, however, I hear the wonderful, welcome, and somehow weird sound of a huge flock of geese following the Susquehanna River north.  Later that morning, I hear another flock.  Geese tend not to get it wrong, and a throng of geese flying north has no melancholy attachment.  It is, rather, joy and hopefulness.

Then, one morning, there's a different sound. I can't differentiate among birds, but it's a sound I haven't heard since September or October.  Another morning I awake to see a mob of robins in the old cemetery across the street...robins feeding and -- who knows? -- making plans for who gets which tree and which mate they'll have.  That congregation of robins won't happen again until next year, but it's a definite sign:  There may be another snow or two, but the robins are here.

An afternoon's walk to the library brings with it more birdsong.  The morning walk to the bus stop is accompanied by the music that I've missed.  Our forsythia bush is fully green and may host a nest.
Other flowering trees bloom, the dogwoods display their off-pink and beautiful white flowers.

And then comes the scent, the scent that here in central Pennsylvania means it's the end of April and the beginning of May.  As I awaited the green migration from the ground to the top of the trees, as I've enjoyed the return of bird music, as I enjoyed the burst of colors around me, the lilac crowns it all, it is the grand finale, it is what I've been waiting for...and it's right on time.

Ahead, I hope, are languorous warm and even hot summer days, dark evenings pierced by lightning bug flashes, the incredible smell of new-mown hay and the refreshment of warmish water, the power of thunderstorms and the peace after them (cleaning up after them, not so much).

My favorite season, which will come along in a couple of weeks, is heralded by the most lovely scent in the world.  The lilacs are in bloom again.

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