Last weekend I stayed in a house I had never visited before, but the Lily of the Valley placed next to my bed made me feel instantly at home. The sweet fragrance of the tiny, bell-shaped blooms recall early summer days spent with my paternal grandmother, Bea. She loved the delicate, heady flowers with the hearty green leaves, and so do I. To me, they are more than flowers, they are scent-memories.
This week, the lilac bushes are in full bloom and ripe for the picking. I no longer have a bush in my yard, so I hatched a plan to pluck the blossoms off a random, out of the way hedge. Today, on my way to work, I stopped off at the local hardware store and bought a flower pruner to keep in my car (like all good flower-bandits do). I found a perfect hedge of lilacs and pulled off of the road to collect a proper bouquet - or three. I bloomed a little myself when I saw my colleagues smile at my special delivery of fresh lilacs. Now, I sit in my office listening to the oohs and ahs of passers-by responding to the scent that wafts from my doorway into the hallway.
Both of these spring floral beauties remind us that we shouldn't only see the beauty in the world with our eyes. As playwright Eugene Ionesco said, "a nose that can see is worth two that can sniff."