In search of story

October 11.21: Coping


In the worn path of the daily

I walked. Bedroom to kitchen,

like yesterday and the day before,


in this moment of the ordinary,


some clanging silence,

stopped me,

stopped my breath.

Under pallid sky

as tired leaves let go their holds

on life,


Four years have we lived together,

this lilac and I,

but never a flower

until now,

this discouraged, bleak Now.

What forced its bloom?

Anger? Fear? Despair?

Why spring

on the doorstep of winter?

Is this tender-petal’d spire

telling me that


I don’t know everything?



13 thoughts on “October 11.21: Coping

  1. I guess this guy follows a different drummer. Out of order, but still brilliant. I love reading your thoughts on this lilac, Maureen. You brought true feeling to the page.

  2. What a lovely surprise, most especially after years of promise but no blooming! We now have ridiculous betting pools here in Covid’s Slow Lane, like, “The hydrangea will produce how many blossoms after this ONE..” I looked the bush over — late in summer, there was not even a hint of another. I’d have won the pool with my, “This 1 is IT,” but one day, a rogue blossom appeared and it’s still blazing blue out there above the lower leaves now wilting! Yep, I (thankfully) may not know everything either, and you’ve poeticized it so wonderfully! 🌷

  3. If I think too much about it, I get mighty concerned because I really think these plants are trying to tell us something. I haven’t had a lilac bloom out of normal season, but I’ve had several other plants do the same. As a matter of fact, I’ve been eating fresh raspberries this week. I think we humans are out of sync with Mother Nature or the weather gods. I went to two stores this afternoon and all of the Christmas decorations were out. Except for crafters who make a living doing that, why do we want to be buying decorations for December in the second week of October? Do you remember back in the old days, when the department stores would put up their decorations on Thanksgiving night so it was a big deal to go to the store the day after Thanksgiving to check out the window and aisle decorations? Boy howdy, am I showing my age. 🙂

    • “Boy howdy” says something too! That is a favorite expression of a good old friend of mine — not as “good old” as I am, but still. You certainly have seen “Christmas Story,” so you have seen Christmas where I grew up. Hohman Avenue, which is the namesake of Hohman in the story, ran half a block from our house (my claim to fame). Anyway, it was the Christmas decorations on the street lights which took my breath away — and, yes, it all happened after Thanksgiving.

      As for us and Nature, I agree wholeheartedly, and I am uneasy about it. That herd of elephants that spent so many months on the move really worried me, and it still does. And you say you still have fresh raspberries! And me with lilacs. I can’t figure out whether I wish I understood or I don’t want to know.

  4. A surprise like this confirms we don’t know everything (or anything). This Lilac is a gift of hope, a hug from nature. How fantastic, it mast have made your day (or week).

  5. Where’s the “I LOVE THIS” button? ‘Cause I LOVE THIS. ❤

  6. What a surprise! Ours flowered months ago, not long after the bluebells. I was noticing how fresh and green the leaves still are when I went past one the other day, though I didn’t think to check if it had buds.

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