The Scent of Lilacs

I was meeting a friend for lunch at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton on May 6th, 2010 when my husband called to tell me Milo had died. I kept saying “who?” “who died?”. The facts just wouldn’t sink in. “Not Milo!” In a daze I wandered into the foyer to find Marilyn who hadn’t arrived yet. I kept pacing back and forth from one end to the other looking for her. She finally appeared. I waited until we sat down to lunch before blurting out the news. She cried while I robotically repeated the words. We ordered and talked then she asked me if I wanted to go back home. “No,” I said. “I want to see the lilacs. Let’s walk.”

The Lilac Festival was the following weekend and the bushes were in their glory. Purples, mauves, pinks and whites of all species. The flowers never smelled so fragrant to me or looked so glorious. I savoured every inhalation and every vista. We walked slowly and I took many photographs. I thought of Milo and how she would never have this chance again. I thought about how fragile life is and how lucky I was to be able to experience the scent of lilac for another season. We walked and talked. I’m glad I took that time. After a few hours I was ready to drive home, call the airline and fly to Edmonton to face reality.


Kathleen Pooler said...

Dear Ruth,

Nature is so wonderful. Those lilacs were right there for you when you needed to soak in their beauty and scent like healing gestures. I was right there with you in that beautiful garden. Thank you for sharing and I hope you will continue to share stories of Milo.



Ruth Zaryski Jackson said...

Yes, the universe was offering me consolation. I never dreamed Milo would be connected to all my past 'lilac' memories which I have written about.
Thanks for your comments,

Cheryl said...

Such powerful connections ... the scent, the vista, the glory of nature - Milo. The depth of your shock and strength of your love brought tears to my eyes. Like Kathy, I hope to read more Lilac Memories.

Love, Cheryl.

Ruth Zaryski Jackson said...

The Lilac Dell in all its beauty was a fitting place to gather myself together. I'll post a few more photos of the vistas.
thanks for your comments.