The waft of lilacs sweet heavy scent has my mind racing back to Spring in Minnesota where bushes the size of small cars suddenly were alive with deep purples and delicate lavender. Ordinary green hedges and tall bushes along the highways and back yards erupted in millions of spray of rapture and gave off an intoxicating aroma.
I love the beauty of the lilacs and all the purples, but my favorite thing about lilacs is that they made me a “star.” Well, maybe star isn’t the correct term. But I was famous and got attention because of a photography contest in my home town. My aunt (BA) loved to take pictures and she used us (my brothers and sisters and me) as her models. Her studio was a bedroom in my Grandmother’s house and for her “sessions” she’d tack up a bed sheet for a backdrop on a convenient wall. Then we were all dressed up in our Sunday best and she’d give directions on how she wanted us to pose for her.
My big break came when we were visiting another beloved aunt and the lilacs were in bloom. BA decided she was going to enter a photography contest at the drug store and decided she knew just how to compose the picture. She dressed me in my pale blue party dress with the scratchy can can slip that made the full skirt stick out, handed me a spray of lilacs to hold, put more blooms in my pony tail and started snapping. I was supposed to smell the flowers, not look at her and not laugh. That was a lot to ask of someone so little. I was 5-years-old and managed a shy smile, or maybe I was trying not to giggle because my uncle was there making faces at me. BA won a roll of film. I don’t remember where exactly I placed, but I know I was a winner.
I am a winner. And that little girl is a winner.
I love that little girl and keep her picture on my desk. She is sweet, innocent and full of possiblity. I am still that little girl. I just have to keep reminding myself. Every year when the lilacs bloom, I go back in time, lose myself in the memory and embrace her. Little Me Me, Meria and Mary. I wish you lots of lilacs and sweet memories of your own…