Memories of May

This post is about flowers, a daughter, and the month of May.

Although fall is my favourite season, May is my favourite month. Aside from the obvious reason, with May blooms three of the most beautiful or fragrant flowers.

Lily-of-the-valley is pleasant for me not for any particular memory, but because of its gorgeous smell and  daintiness. I also love the purity of the fragrance—it’s one of those smells that is non-overwhelming and truly authentic, in good-quality body products. So much so, that I remember one time when the Girl was younger, she picked a lily-of-the-valley plant in our garden and remarked, “This smells like a soap!”

Magnolia, although not fragrant in my opinion, and rather short-lived in its blooming season, is perhaps the most magnificent flowering tree. My association with magnolias will always be the beautiful little star magnolia tree that we bought at a plant auction, the year that our first child was born. We planted our white blooming tree in the backyard of our first house, and it was the only thing that I couldn’t bring along when we moved, that I regretted.

But my favourite of all time has to be the lilac. Another association with the Girl’s birth year: we had insisted on no gifts, of course, but a family member insisted on buying us something, even if only symbolic. Beloved Husband left the decision to me, and I asked for a purple lilac tree to be planted in our backyard, so that it would grow alongside our daughter year after year. Little did I know that we would move away two years later. Although we weren’t able to bring that tree along with us either, we were extremely happy to discover at the new house that we purchased that there was a huge 12-year-old specimen in a corner of our front yard.

The fragrance of that tree wafting through our windows from mid-May to mid-June, is indescribably heavenly. We always cut a few branches and place them in two or three vases throughout the house. The perfume of lilacs in the house just makes me extremely happy. I value my sense of smell so much, because I know that this is one of those smells that will bring good memories to me, years from now.

If you have a garden and you have money to only invest in one flowering shrub, I’d recommend any variety of lilac.