Friday, April 27, 2012

Lilac Time

It's lilac time in New York! I love this time of year as it heralds spring in full bloom, but it is so short. Bursts of purple appear all over the city - like above at my lovely Northern Spy Food Co. where the anesthetist and I have a yummy breakfast on the way out to the boat - and all over Central Park.

Lilac has different connotations for me. Before coming here, whenever I thought about lilac I thought of the color of old ladies' hair after a bad dye job, and the name alone conjured up moth balls and mustiness. I think it's because I never remember the flower being readily available in Sydney or Melbourne - although my lovely friend from my peartree house may tell me otherwise on that one!

But here, come spring, before the blue hydrangeas of summer appear, it's all about lilac and cherry blossom. The Union Square farmers market positively bulges with lilac. One florist specializes in lilac and he unloads from his enormous truck wonderful shades of purple, as eager shoppers wait restlessly. Imagine what his fields must look like! Heaven, So now, I love this flower and this color. I even have beautiful lilac-colored linen sheets form Libeco Lagae.

My new found love for this flower also led me to a very famous poem by Walt Whitman. He wrote it as an elegy on the death of Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated during the lilac season:

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd,
And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,
I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with ever returning spring.....

The poem continues for another 16 verses so I will let you explore it on your own. In the meantime, don't forget to look out for this beautiful flower when it's springtime in your part of the world.

images: (1-3) mine, (4) libeco, (5-6) 29 blackstreet

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