Lila and Lilacs

Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of my beloved dog Lila’s passing. She was thirteen and a half. I found her in May, 1995, and I lost her in May, 2008. It was, as the song says, not enough. She was the friend of my heart, comforter in sad times and jubilant celebrant of everything else (good, great, ordinary). I’ve always associated her with the scent of the lilacs, and lilacs do symbolize love – on the day she died and we took her still small body to be cremated, I picked a bouquet of white lilacs to go with her. Every year I take a few blossoms into the house to honour her memory. Every May 26 a flood of poignant, painful and beautiful memory comes back to fill my heart. I have never had a friend in human form to parallel what Lila and I shared. She was, truly, my Anam Cara.

So this year, again we’ve had a strange lilac season, I will need to read on this plant and see if it is normal not to bloom every few years; the mauve one which usually produces a glorious abundance of flowers, has  brought forth almost none this year.  We have two white lilacs, and the large one also barely produced.
But yesterday, the little white bush – struggling as she is under the branchings of a white pine – decided to honour the day by bringing out just two – but two perfect – panicles of double cluster white flowers. I took a couple of pictures:

and then, I made a flower essence from a few of the clusters:

and went off to Wakefield, to purchase supplies for my medicine-making adventures – organic olive and almond oils, apple cider vinger in glass bottles, real vanilla extract, vodka, brandy and another box of jars. Although spending money is tight right now, I had to stop at the Farmer’s market to look at the assortment of pies, cheeses, ciders and so on that are usually on offer this time of year.

I did need honey, so stopped at a booth selling the large jars I prefer, and a whole range of herbal honeys – mint, ginger, lemon verbena, sage — and then I saw it – a type of honey I’ve never seen before, and was quite amazed to find – well, look!

Oh yes, that was the echo of my dog’s sweet playful soul, in my heart and ear, and I scrambled up three toonies to pay for it. I have not even tasted this gift of sweetness yet – but I know, it serves as a reminder to me that sweetness and loveliness were Lila’s gifts and she would not want me to be so sad – she would  want me to be happy, tending my garden and making new things and…remembering.

So, after a remembrance day of much emotion I left off with sweetness – of honey, lilacs, and the memory of a dog who was so much more than a “pet” to me…and whose memory, needs to be so much more than tears.

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