May 7, 2010

no judgement, please.

Okay. Confession time.

Today felt more like the Ides of March than the first week of May- chilly and steadily raining. And for some reason, my day at work just draaaaaaaaaagged. I'm already bored just trying to come up with a way to describe how slow it was. So, it being miserable and boring and Friday, I was anxious to get home and take off my stupid clicky work shoes and wrinkly work clothes and put on pajamas. (It may be disturbing, but I go straight to pj's at roughly 5pm every day of the work week. I need to get out more.)
However, be it the rain or the Friday crazies, traffic was uncooperative and frankly, a little belligerent. (No idea if I spelled that right.) Traffic and I have a tense relationship anyway, but there's no reasoning with it when it gets in a mood like that. Incorrigible is a good word for it. So I called my On-star (read: husband) who gave me the most reasonable route home from the nearest exit off the highway.

I wasn't sure where I was at first, but then I recognized enough landmarks to realize I was near the Hamilton Cemetery, so out of curiosity I pulled off the road to check it out.

Tangent: three things. 1. The cemetery is old. And crammed. And really lovely. 2. On the City of Hamilton's website, the cemeteries are categorized under 'Parks'. Um, I guess? A really quiet one? 3. I guess they are parks, because outside each entrance are signs depicting dogs on leashes, and people picking up after them, which implies walking your dog through the cemetery is totally cool.
So, I'm rolling around this vast collection of concrete and marble chunks, and that's when I see the lilacs. Along the back edge of the cemetery chain link fence, as far as I could see were frothy, fragrant lilacs in full bloom. And I know exactly where I am; over the fence and down the hill lies my usual route home from work, and I've looked up the hill coated in lilac bushes and wondered how to get up there. And I had got up there.

I've always loved lilacs. In the wild, unkempt back yard of my childhood (well, somewhat kempt, okay Dad?) we could always count on an abundance of three things: lilacs, peonies (GLORIOUS peonies!), and sycamore twigs. The first two I loved; the latter was the bane of my existence every Saturday morning, as we were drafted to gather them all lest they choke and kill the lawn mower. Like that would have been such a tragedy.

But anyways. It took me about eight seconds to decide to park off to the side of the quiet road, and scamper around soaking-wet in my stupid nice work shoes, snapping twig after twig of heavy blossoms. It's the smell. That smell will fill a room in a few hours, did you know that? Those things smell so sweet and light and rich, they're practically spun sugar. Or meringue. Or something. I think it makes me go a little mad, hence the thievery.

And I'll be honest: I stopped and checked over my shoulder, in every direction, a few times. And I even had brief thoughts of what I would say to some horrified elderly resident stopping by to pay their respects... I considered picking out a family member whose grave I would pretend to be picking the lilacs for. Braithwaite was a contender, just because it's a pretty name. But I digress. I just didn't want to get caught like a guilty eight-year-old.

Now, they're clustered throughout the rooms of our apartment, and they're delightful. Dare I say I would do it again? Here's the thing: I don't think the dead would begrudge a bit of spring to the living. The dead can't exactly enjoy them, anyway.


  1. I like reading what you write. And how you write it. And on and on.

    This made my day.

  2. "I don't think the dead would begrudge a bit of spring to the living."

    Positively in agreement. What a lovely post :)