Discover my ObsessionBlog May 21, 2023
I have an unhealthy obsession. This obsession brings me beauty, but causes me stress. I’m crazy about lilacs and until today, I’ve had to steal them in order to fill my house with that delicate purple flower. When the opened buds appear (seemingly overnight), I scan streets, parking lots, town parks… looking for blooms I can cut under the cover of dusk. I can’t drive to see a friend in So. Portland or meet up for a walk behind Evergreen Cemetery or return from the grocery store without scanning for an opportunity for blossom thievery. The other day I drove home from Falmouth via back roads and I was blown away by how many trees were laden with flowers and not a one could I envision stealing (all on private property, along a busy road). But something close to magic happened today. I stopped at Letterpress Books in that strip mall on Auburn Street in Portland for a graduation card and as I was paying I said to the woman behind the till, your lilacs are beautiful. And she shared with me a nugget that has changed my life: there’s a home in Falmouth with mature lilac trees and the owner has put out a step-ladder, sheers, and a sign inviting passers-by to stop and cut her lilacs. So now, I no longer have to engage in evening subterfuge; I have a legitimate source of spring lilacs. I thought about what a kindness this person has bestowed on me and how that act of generosity has ripple effects that she’ll never understand. This is insane, but I felt the stress and anxiety swoosh from my body when I discovered this gift. Maybe I’m too insane about lilacs, but I am who I am, and now I have a source (or a dealer) so I can fill my bedroom and kitchen with that wonderful and fleeting smell of spring in Maine.