When I was a child we had a lilac tree in my back garden. I remember the flowers were beautiful and the scent out of this world. I longed to bring them inside, to place a vase on the dining room table, but my mum wouldn’t let me.
“It’s unlucky,” she would say, “unlucky to bring lilacs in the house.”
At some point the lilac tree became unruly and my father had it removed. Somewhere in the mounds of photographs in my basement from my dad, there’s probably a picture of that lilac tree.
Last week, we too had a lilac bush removed, but before it was cut I gathered lilacs and placed them in vases all around the house. I thought about what my mum would have thought about that, but I didn’t tell her.
It’s strange the odd superstitions people pick up … and it feels very good to realize they are just that, superstitions, they have no real power. We enjoyed the lilacs for a few days and I imagined they were the lilacs of my childhood.