How Lilacs Can Save Your Life

The motto for this website is “Grabbing the Great Now from the tiny now.” That refers to my conviction that what makes life worth living is noticing the unexpected moments in which the world extends an invitation and we say Yes and grab it.

It’s especially important to grab the Great Now in times of stress and sorrow.

Today I want to thank a lilac bush for offering delight in a difficult moment.

On Friday morning, my husband had to go to the hospital for unexpected surgery on his bladder (he has bladder cancer). After only one hour’s sleep the night before, when we finally tumbled into our bed after returning from a local emergency room, I drove us two hours up to Ithaca, NY, where his urologist has his practice.

As we got out of the car and walked up to the hospital entrance on a cloudy early morning, we were frightened and sleep-deprived, and Andy was very uncomfortable. Just before entering the building, we passed a blooming lilac bush. I insisted we stop. I drew down one of the branches to our faces, took a whiff, and passed it to Andy.

That in-breath bore more than the fragrance of the flowers. It carried the assurance that, no matter what is going on in a human life, nature has a will of its own. That scent declared that lilacs don’t care if they’re in a royal garden or outside a hospital; when it’s time to bloom, they bloom with all their might. The lilacs told us that life is always going on—fiercely, wildly, indomitably.

Those lilacs gave us a moment of joy on a very difficult morning.

Thank you, lilacs.

One thought on “How Lilacs Can Save Your Life”

  1. Trebbe,
    Your words are Beautiful and True as always. Sending healing wishes to Andy.
    –Madeleine

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