I was walking the other day at lunchtime when one of my co-workers called over to me: “The lilacs are blooming over there.”



She gestured over at the animal-rescue place across the street, which has a flowery hedge. And their lilacs were in full bloom.



Lilacs (well, Syringa if you’re a snob) send me into reverie every spring.  The house I lived in when I was very small had a lilac hedge; they were all purple except one, which was creamy heavenly white. The scent was heavenly also. It’s heavy and can be oppressive (I wore lilac scent for a while some years ago, and was probably the bane of the office), but – in small doses, and when you smell it on the breeze on an April day – it’s wonderful.



They remind me of Walt Whitman, and the death of Abraham Lincoln, by way of “When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d.”



They remind me of Milton Berle, who camped it up on the old “Batman” TV series as the dandy gangster Louie the Lilac.



They remind me of New Hampshire, which uses the lilac as its floral symbol, and good for them.



I think they were probably one of the first flowers I ever examined closely. I remember wondering at those huge clusters of much smaller flowers, and having a dim intuition that it was very smart of the lilac bush to make big floral explosions out of hundreds of smaller blossoms.



They are lovely.



Admire them while they last.


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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