Certainly we’ve had days and sometimes months where things just don’t seem to want to go our way. After lingering similar days, we start thinking dark thoughts and consider life will not get any better and begin resigning ourselves to a new life of drudgery with no end in sight. What exacerbates those dark feelings is when we look around and find people living in their happy little boxes doing everything they possibly can to ignore everyone and everything on the outside that may require assistance regarding the sharing of time or talents. I scratch my head and wonder, “How is it that there are those who know their family or friends are in need, and they simply make flimsy excuses regarding their being unavailable and move on?” As one great speaker once said, “A friend in need, is a true friend indeed.” I internally smile when I hear people speaking about all the friends they have and consider how many they’ll truly have should there come a time when those friends are called to help with someone in need of assistance. In some countries it is believed that if death comes with but one true friend at bedside, then that person dies peacefully and fully enriched by that true friendship.
Several days ago a client told me about two women who were great friends, but when one of them became terminally ill, the other broke off the friendship. I’m sure the friend who was dying was deeply hurt by her assumed true friend’s exit. After loosing it a bit with several “box living” people yesterday by my writing a little diatribe, I’ve decided that I’m going to force myself to think of the most pleasant things and simply move forward. Finding a diehard image that would likely dispel even the most unpleasant situation is not as easy as it sounds. I thought about cute little puppies, I thought about walks on the beach, I thought about standing at the lookout over the Mississippi, and about every other possibility until I began thinking about lilacs. Walt Whitman wrote of lilacs, and lilacs are some of the first blooms to usher in pleasant Spring and Summer days. I believe lilacs for me is not so much the look, but the smell. The smell of North Iowa lilacs in full bloom is truly intoxicating. Lilacs also take me back to my youth where there were abundant lilac bushes dotting our dooryard. I can’t remember a time when lilacs caused me nothing more than a sense of well being. I’ve never been much of one who picks flowering plants, but I certainly don’t hesitate to pick lilacs to bring indoors. Believe it or not, I really don’t like the air fresheners that are supposed to replicate the smell of lilacs because for me they don’t. Cheap imitations tend to pollute the memory of real things. There was a time in my past when I wouldn’t hesitate to tell people who had overgrown lilac bushes that they needed to cut out all the trunks that were larger than a quarter because it would help to stimulate growth of new shoots that would blossom more fully. After a year or so I stopped because I think they believed me encouraging them to kill their bushes.
Yes, lilacs are the mental images I will arouse whenever I find myself in situations where either myself or someone else is approaching the point of no longer being charming. I’ll wait for the next time someone becomes difficult and demanding and pull the lilac trigger. I shall then remain a gentleman and continue thinking lilacs.