The scent of Lilacs

Travel – does not always have to be about nomadic wanderings abroad, sometimes travel takes you to a moment in the past – through a smell, a sight or a conversation.

A writer online suggested Lilacs smell like, ‘sweet heaven on a spring day.’

For me yesterday, they brought alive memories of my childhood –  in symbolism, the flowers are considered to represent love and this was the very feeling, evoked.


As if in a dream, I found myself standing in my childhood home, with the scent of lilacs pervading the dining room. As I turned I could see the cut flowers in bowls all around, filling our home with colour.

I was reminded of the conversations between my Mother and Father. Mum liked to cut them and bring them into the house, to fill it with their scent and colour. Dad liked to see them live their life out naturally on the tree. Each year they disagreed.

Smelling them brought tears to my eyes – “why,” I wondered.

The next clue I received whilst wandering into Sainsbury’s to buy a litre of milk. Scanning the sell-by dates on the cartons – May 23rd caught my eye. My Mum’s birthday.

Ah, things were starting to fall into place.

I continued my walk home – a robin redbreast, flew down in front of my path. Another reminder. My Mum always telling me that if she returned to this life, it would be as one of these birds.

Grief has a way of reminding us of our loved ones – as we travel through our lives – the losses we experience. The release of a little more of the held emotion and an acknowledgment of the other – long passed but in the now.

How does life remind you of your losses and your love?


One thought on “The scent of Lilacs

  1. A lovely post. I lost my Dad in September 2012 and relate to these incidents that remind us of what we have lost but also how lucky we were to have it for a time.

    On another issue, I wonder if you might be interested in having details of a forthcoming report from a charity about a literacy crisis as they are looking for bloggers to help them spread awareness.

    If this is of any interest, please email

    I am happy to have found your blog


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