The lilacs are in bloom on what's left of the hedge down the street. When the Myers lived in the house, the lilac hedge was huge and bursting with branches full of the sweet-smelling blossoms. lIt is now a bit scraggly, and the lilac bunches are not so prolific. This was where all the neighborhood children picked bouquets of flowers for Mother's Day, with no objections from the owners. In the mornings, on the way to school, they would gather some for the teachers, too. There are now very few children in the neighborhood, so the crowds of kids coming home from school on these May afternoons are no more. It's as if the sparse hedge shrank as the kid population diminished.
We have a couple of lilac bushes in the back yard, sending that scent into the kitchen in the afternoon. This lovely plant has only a limited time of beauty, turning quickly into a green shrub, but it doesn't matter, especially after such a terrible winter. It's brief span of pleasure to the senses is one of the benefits of surviving an Ohio winter.
There's a lovely place near where Emily lives in Bavaria, Schleissheim Palace, one of those fairy tale places, full of sweeping marble staircases, Palladian widows, walls hung with brocade - the real deal. There are formal gardens, fountains, mazes and all the things a palace should have. In the front is one of the most beautiful lilac gardens, with every color that lilacs can possibly be: purple, lavender, pink, mauve, white and maroon. This a a popular Mother's Day destination. (There's a beer garden, of course, since it's Germany.) You can wander around the lilacs, which is feast for the eyes and the nose. It is quite heavenly.
Our little scraggly lilac hedge pales in comparison, naturally, but in its day it was a magical place for many children, as wonderful as the palace lilac garden in far off Bavaria.
And you could pick some lilacs for your mother.