The summer air was pungent in my nostrils when the car stopped in front of a house I had never seen before. Then my father got out, opened my door, and I remember vividly how heavy that lilac was in the air. In the same breath the very moment my feet hit the gravel of our new driveway, I ran as fast as I could toward that great fluffy purple tree in the back corner of the garden.
The pillowy blooms were glowing from the sun. It was hot, and I shielded my eyes as I looked up at all the blooms oscillating in the breeze. There were so many shades of purple. Speckles of white under the black finger like branches beneath. Deep amethyst hiding in the shadows.
I was mesmerized and infatuated from that moment forward.
The rest of the summer I would spend my afternoons siting underneath it till the sun set as I read. As a young girl with the beauty of words between my hands I didn’t need friends around me. I disconnected and lost myself in worlds that didn’t exist. In the possibility of dragons and boys whose kisses made toes tingle. Alive in worlds where babysitters solved crimes, and where girls like me changed the world.
The lilac tree stood tall
Childhood holding its roots
My cat with ears nicked from scrapping
The front lawn in all its glory
My garden with red rhubarb
Picking lilacs, the way they would bloom, the scent
Placing them on my mother’s bedside table
Only to see them in the garden the next day
Knowing she never loved me
Sunlight, summer breeze
Then it was gone