I Speak for the Lilacs

Every May I display lilacs in my home, my favorite flower, my favorite smell.

Every year my mother tells me how my grandmother wouldn’t have lilacs in the house because she said they were bad luck.

I could be snarky and say that this explains a lot.

Lilacs in jug
Photo by Rayia Soderberg 

This bad rap lilacs have received is an Old English superstition, particular to the Norfolk area according to the internet (so we all know it’s true…). People once believed that the sweet smell of lilacs were a favorite of the faeries and if you dared to bring some inside, well, you just might end up with a faerie amongst them too. A faerie who isn’t too happy to be caught in a human home.

This faerie might let you off with only some troublesome pranks, no real harm done. Or it may be really pissed and steal one of your family members away into the night to Faerieland never to be seen again. Moody wee bugger.

Clearly that faerie has issues.

As a result of this potential for unexplained disappearing, lilacs came to be associated with death. Just like Faerieland, there’s no coming back from that. 

Only, there are tales of those who have returned — both from magical faerie kingdoms and from death. So…

Still, death?

Well, yeah — it doesn’t help that coffins were lined with lilacs to disguise unpleasant odors. To that I say, what did people use the other eleven months lilacs weren’t blooming? Why pick on lilacs alone?

There is even an argument that it is only white lilacs that are unlucky, not the lavender ones. Why you gotta be that way?

When I see lilacs beginning to bloom, I feel a sense of hope — winter is gone, spring has arrived! I breathe in the velvety scent and exhale stress and anxiety. Peace.

So, I will continue to cut and display lilacs, superstitions be damned.

lilac coffee
Photo by Brigitte Tohm

Of course, my household members may feel differently about my laissez faire springtime cuttings and their affects on possibly being kidnapped…but I make up for it with positive energy sage bouquets at Yule. It’s all good.

*Featured Photo by Bonnie Kittle

Lightness of Being

I want to talk about lightness of being and those who bring positivity into your life, promoting presence rather than absence. You know them, because they show up. They show up when you are happy, they show up when you’re not. They lend a hand when you need help, even if you haven’t asked, they accept your help when they need it themselves. They don’t play games with their existence in your life, in good times and bad. Most of all, they see your worth and they make sure you see it too.

Those are my people. They make me glow.

We all know “I can’t deal with the negative, so I pretend to be positive even though I’m miserable” people — I’m not talking about them. They haven’t found what they think they can fake it ’til they make. I hope they discover what they are looking for, although, in all honesty, I don’t think they can without recognizing and respecting the twisty part of themselves that resides in everyone.

Notice I didn’t say celebrate. Because you will encounter people who clasp habitual skepticism to their chest as a defining component of their personality. There’s nothing cool about true darkness of being. It doesn’t make you appear more intelligent. I want to say, “Isn’t that negativity heavy to carry around?” It’s heavy just being near it.

What you do with that that darker part and whether you choose to turn toward or away from it, characterizes who you are. Depression is prevalent in today’s world, most people have experienced it at one time or another — that is a mental health issue and not the subject of this article. I’m talking about basic personality in how you approach life, whether you seek a route of optimism or pessimism. I say seek, because most situations can be viewed through either a positive or negative lens. That’s a personal choice, how you pursue the elements of your life.

I seek to enrich my existence with those who know, through trial and error, that life can be hell but choose to take what they’ve learned and make their human experience better. Not only that, they encourage that in others.

Hold close those individuals you stumble across on this rocky road called life who enhance the best parts of you — they are in tune with the internal lightness within yourself. They see the areas where others revered negativity, recognize that was never you, and usher in their own beams of brightness to echo your own making everything around become luminous. They become part of your compass helping navigate the rocky road into a path to a happier you.

They are interested in digging deep, getting to know you — the real you — and they reflect back the brilliance they find, whether you have always had it or you are building it out of obscurity.  They see you. Your internal beacon of light clicks up a notch, or several notches, with each kindred spirit who sees the good in you and celebrates that. 

So take the boost of beautiful brightness you receive, bask in it, and then go shine your light on others. Show them that you see all they have to offer, their worth. Make them glow.