Conversation with…A Lilac…about being young and old at the same time

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, in early May, I saw a lilac growing beside a tree. Lilacs are my favorite flower ever! I cherish the time they’re here! So I rushed over to it. But I noticed the lilac looked confused and distraught. I asked:

lilac

Hey lilac, what’s the matter?

LILAC: I can’t tell you.

Oh. Okay.

LILAC: It’s too upsetting.

Alright. I won’t ask.

LILAC: It has to do with my age.

Believe it or not, I’ll understand. What’s bothering you?

LILAC: I can’t tell you.

But you just started to.

LILAC: Forget I said it.

Okay. Fine.

LILAC: The tree next to me just told me I’ll only be in the world for about two weeks. But I just got here. I’m young and getting old at the same time. I’m a freak.

Well, for what it’s worth, I’m young and getting old at the same time, too.

LILAC: Really? I think you just look older.

Oh thank you.

LILAC: I didn’t mean to insult you. I was just being honest.

What I was trying to say was, I’m older on the outside but young on the inside. Young at heart.

LILAC: Well then, you must be confused too.

Baffled. 

LILAC: How do you deal with it? How do you stop yourself from obsessing with being older and young at the same time?

Well…I think every living creature is born with a gift. You know, some kind of outstanding talent that makes the world a better place. So, no matter how old I get, I focus on my gift and try to find new ways to use it.

LILAC: What’s your gift?

I believe it’s writing. The way I communicate. And I hope somehow, in my writing, just for a moment, I transform others. I hope I can suggest that others see the world a little bit differently through my words.

LILAC: That’s cool.

And people have all kinds of gifts. They make the world a better place through their art, music, photography, dance, recipes, families–

LILAC: I see where you’re going with this. But I’m just a flower. What’s my gift?

Your scent.

LILAC: Really? You mean, all I have to do is sit here and let people smell me?

Yes. And…you can carry on the lilac legacy—for all those lilacs who have been here before and those who will be here after you’re gone.  When you’re no longer here, others will remember your graceful, elegant petals, stunning color and most remarkable scent. You will become part of them.

I’m so neurotic. What about people who aren’t near me now? They won’t be able to smell me.

Just the sight of you will inspire them. Like this amazing illustration of a lilac created by Lisa: https://lismorepaper.com/2018/05/06/lilac-botanical-print/

I never looked better.

And! People can close their eyes and remember a time they experienced a lilac’s scent. 

How?

I’ll show you. Friends who are reading this post, when I count to three, close your eyes and imagine the scent of a lilac. One…two…three…

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Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2018

What is your gift?

CONVERSATION WITH…The Soil…Feeling left behind by a flower…

I just returned from a week’s vacation, visiting my daughter who lives thousands of miles away. Now, since I’m back “Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road,” I’m feeling angry, hurt, and as if I’ve been left behind. Walking along the Yellow Brick Road, I was glad to hear a pile of soil on the ground calling out to me. The soil said:

soil

SOIL: Hey you, I know how it is.

What? What do you mean?

SOIL: You have the “I wish I could adjust to being left behind” look on your face. I’d know it anywhere. I’m in the same place.

How so?

SOIL: Well, about a year ago, a seed came into my life. I hugged her under the ground so tightly I almost squashed her to death. I was just trying to keep her safe and warm.

I did the same with my daughter when she was a baby.

SOIL: Yeah. Whenever it rained, I did everything I could to be sure my seed was nourished with water. And miraculously, she grew roots.

I gave my daughter roots, too.

SOIL: But, my seed’s roots grew bigger and wider. Sometimes it drove me crazy, trying to figure out how to keep her nourished, and continuing to hold her in place, even when she made it difficult.

I’ve been there.

SOIL: And then…things started to fall apart. When I least expected it, my seed shoved herself above the ground. She grew a stem and kept growing higher and higher. She kept growing further and further away from me.

Welcome to my world.

SOIL: Then she grew thorns on her stem! Who told her to do that? Not me!

Sounds like my daughter’s tattoos.  Not my personal favorite.

SOIL: I guess those are just parts of who they are.  Anyway, at this point, my seed is a fully grown rose.

rose

She’s beautiful.

SOIL: Thank you. But her stem is so tall and far from the ground, if I want to talk to her, I have to scream my guts out.

Most of the time, I talk to my daughter through some kind of a screen. It’s not the same as speaking to her face to face. I hate it.

SOIL: What’s up with this???? Why is this happening?

I don’t know! But leaving my daughter was so hard this time.  Accepting I won’t see her in person very often makes me want to give up. I want to somehow separate myself from the pain. And move on!

SOIL: It breaks my heart when I realize no matter how hard I cry or how loudly I whine, my rose is never coming back down here.

Although…you know…you can never really separate from your rose.  And I can never really separate from my daughter.

SOIL: Why not?

Because we carry their roots. And deep down, I think they appreciate knowing we support them.

SOIL: I guess in that way…we’ll never really be left behind.

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How do you handle being left behind?

Note: A special, heartfelt thank you to baffledmum at:  https://baffledmum.com/2018/04/25/giving-up/  Her post about “giving up” really inspired me. Check it out!

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2018