"We're all just walking each other home." - - Ram Dass

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Mother Lilacs and I

"One. Two. Three" 
His thick full hands lift from my eyes.

I blink,
still nestled in my sleeping bag, laying on my prescribed left side in the den.
Our bed had not yet arrived, but such formalities wouldn't keep 
me from resting my head in our new home.

There they were.  Two tiny planters.
The lilac bushes I always dreamt would be beside my house.

"I got you two.  One for this baby, and one 
for the future child we hope will come.
Happy first mother's day."

My eyes brimmed.
I was carrying this child for us,
but he was nourishing my deep need for roots. Permanence. Family.

Barefoot and jammie-clad, we plotted.
The shovel catching the rising sun in his work worn hand.
Mine, worn smooth from the absent-minded circles I traced across the swell of 7 months.

He broke ground in the back V of our yard,
a beautiful pin to hold up a corner of my world.

I waited.
                   And waited.

But those bushes didn't bloom.

Yet, ever faithful, first sign of spring, I would go -
that second hoped for baby now nestled on my hip,
and check for signs of life.

These years ran hard on us both,
the she trees and I.

The dry seasons-
Finding ourselves in unfamiliar soil.

The wet seasons - 
When it was hard to lift our heads in the face of the winds and weight of it all.

No. They did not even bud. But nor did they falter.
They kept root and held fast.
6 years coming...
 a tangle of boy scrambled urgently to find me.

"Mama! Come quick!"

I ran out the door. 
Breathless with the anticipation of danger to be navigated - yet none appeared.

"What? What is it?"

"I found buds!"

Two pairs of hands, 
smudged with jam and grace,
tugged me to examine closer.

There we stood. Then, like now.
taking in the back corner V with the same circling strokes of mother to child,
only now, across the head that stands mid-chest.

He, all limbs and branches. Steady. Strong.
And the silver-spun giggle of her beside me,
sweet as the fragrance and as life affirming as the bloom.

We stood face to face -
my mother lilacs and I,

and we laughed.

Me with my children and she with the wind.

Both standing tall where we were planted.
Drawing open in the sun.

{ Linked with Jen, Just Write, Painting Prose}


  1. Tara... this is beautiful! You write with an eloquence I can only dream of!

  2. I'm breathless. I'm a daughter lilac too. You just get it.

  3. What a beautiful story and a great reminder that we at times must patiently wait for the seeds we have planted to bloom.

  4. I love that your little man was excited about seeing the buds on the plant. He knew how important it was to you. So precious.

  5. Oh my goodness. That's one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. P.S. Mine are blueberry bushes...still waiting for fruit.

  6. tell a sweet story here...Don't you love how God uses nature to speak of His ways....blessings~

  7. This has to be one of the more gorgeous things I've read in a very long time.


  8. Tara, you make my heart skip a beat with such beautifully written words and imagery. Thank you, God, for Tara's gift of writing and sharing.

  9. Beautiful, both the story and the writing. It brings me back to memories of the lilac bushes we had in our garden growing up.

    Some things are worth waiting for.

  10. Lovely! Lilacs remind me of my mother.

  11. What a lovely story and a great comparison. Life does often mimic nature, doesn't it?

  12. This post is beautiful! God is faithful, isn't He? "Tangle of boy".. amazing imagery. Next time I watch my littlest boy run across the yard, I'll think of him as a "tangle" :) Thanks for painting hope with your pen today.

  13. Patience is not my strong suit but as the owner of a mother's day lilac this struck a chord. Just beautiful.

  14. What lovely writing. Thanks for sharing!

  15. The fact your son knew how exciting that was makes my heart flutter! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of that moment. the waiting. the longing. the fruition. the joy.
    told only the way God made Tara to write it. beautifully graced.
    All for Him,

  16. Your writing is so beautiful. Dreams do come true and are so worth the wait -- whether it is mother trees or other desires of the heart.

  17. time slows down inside your words and i am seduced to mindfulness. amen.

  18. !!!! One of my favorite posts to date!

  19. Such a beautifully written narrative. It's a nice reminder to be patient - something I have a hard time doing sometimes.

  20. I admire the pace and the rhythm that you write with, another beautiful piece.

  21. beautiful. absolutely beautiful!

  22. Oh, Tara. My heart just warms with this. Amazing to me as someone who loves to garden and who is a mom...

  23. That was beautifully written! Just beautiful.

  24. Oh fabulous!!! I was all excited and teary for you. In the last few years, I've known what that's like to sleep on the floor in a new house AND to anticipate those long-awaited spring blossoms!

  25. How incredibly beautiful. Your talent for writing is exceptional. I love how the words flow like poetry. Each one is filled with significance and meaning. And what a lovely tale to have spun. The lilacs a sign of permanence and family and beauty. Their blooming just the next level of happiness.

    Beautifully written.

  26. Spectacular imagery! Your words brought to life the longing, the anticipation, the joy...of lilacs...and of motherhood. Simply beautiful :)

  27. The metaphor of the lilacs is perfect, and you do a nice job with pacing the elements of the story. The result is a beautiful piece that conjures the emotions of the moment. Lovely. Erin

  28. Oh gosh. I just about bawled outright.


  29. This was beautiful. So many levels.

  30. So truly beautiful. Lilacs are my favorite flowers. I have a bush in my backyard that didn't bloom the first year either and hasn't bloomed every year since. But when it does, I stop to smell every time I walk by.

  31. WOW! This post took my breathe away. It is so beautifully written, Tara.

  32. Absolutely beautiful! I love your writing, your choice of words.

  33. He makes everything beautiful in His time.

    Sounds like a season of blooming and beauty in and around you. Love seeing you embrace it.

  34. This is stunning. I love this piece. So vivid and and enchanting at the same time.

  35. I agree with all of the above. Vivid, gorgeous, enchanting, one of the most beautiful things I have read in a long time.

  36. So many levels to this writing, Tara. I don't think I scratched the surface, but it appears that your joy in seeing these buds leaves me very, very satisfied. Thanks for sharing the beautiful story from your life! :)

  37. Lilacs are a must in my yard as well, dear heart. We must be of kindred spirit.

  38. Lovely post. Really.

    As a sidenote I've been trying to grow a lilac bush in our yard for 5 years now. It was supposed to be a fast-growing hardy variety and it still barely reaches my knee and may produce ONE flower each spring. *sigh*

  39. Full and gorgeous, but still delicate. I loved reading this, and then I loved re-reading it even more.

  40. That took my breath away. completely.

  41. You inspire me. You are a writer - loved that post!! Claim it girl. And you run for others. Perfect. Love the imagery and pic in this post. You touch my heart. Thanks.

  42. A gorgeous marriage of poetry and prose. It made me want to scoop all my babies out of their beds and hold them, or else lock myself in an attic room alone to write. Touching and inspiring.

  43. Oh my goodness!! Wow, Tara. This is stunning. And this...Two pairs of hands,
    smudged with jam and grace," melted my heart.

  44. oh my! winsome! gorgeous inspire.

  45. Oh, this is so completely beautiful. I love how this lilac bush and your own journey with motherhood is so intricately connected. Incredible.