Lilacs – Flowers of Love and Death

Lilacs are said to symbolize first emotions of love. But white lilacs have dual associations of youthful innocence and also death.

Supposedly a white lilac will refuse to bloom if another lilac in the garden is cut down. Some say it’s bad luck to bring a white lilac into the house.

I don’t know about those concepts, but to me lilacs symbolize the fairest time of year – early to mid-May, and Mother’s Day. I recall picking a bouquet many years during young adulthood, as a gift for my mother on that holiday.

Their sweet scent was a welcome perfume in the kitchen where the purple – and yes, we had white ones too— blooms ruled the dining table for days.

The lovely photo is from Sheila Pickles’ The Complete Language of Flowers.





The Library is Closed But Flowers Still Bloom

Love the lemon yellow daffodil against the sizzling pink creeping phlox.

This library flowerbed used to be more extensive but at least some of the plants still bloom as I sit in my outdoor “car” cubicle. I enjoy working outside but can’t wait to pick up new books when someday the building opens.

Ohio is supposed to begin opening businesses the first of May. Though I questioned the closings initially, now I believe we should all stay separated a bit longer to quell COVID-19 and prevent huge spikes of cases in the future.

The BBC praised Ohio Governor DeWine for reacting to the crisis while others waited, but now I feel he’s jumping the gun, falling to political pressure.

Who would think politics would enter into suppression of a pandemic, but sadly that seems to be the case.

At least the sight of these flowers is renewing my optimism, on this dreary drizzly April day.

Joseph Auslander’s Delightfully Simple Comment About Spring

Years ago I framed a copy of a Vermont Life Magazine, printed back when it was a full size publication. It’s since hung on my bedroom wall, the featured words and picture offering encouragement throughout the seasons whenever I glance at it while preparing for an evening’s rest.

The back cover of the magazine, the side that I see, depicts a lovely red farmhouse surrounded by flowering crab apple trees.

The quote below the picture reads:

Spring has come, like the silver needle note of a fife. . .

The simple, profound statement was composed by Joseph Auslander.

It’s difficult to explain why I’m so moved by such simple words and the photograph of a modest country house. The combination just seems so symbolic of New England’s values: tradition, nature, hope for the future. . .

It doesn’t matter if I stop and ponder upon the photo and the simple simile in the delicate spring season during which it was written, or on a dark, dreary evening in late autumn.

I always walk away with a sense of renewal.


Cute Squirrel Offers Inspiration Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Spotted this lovely little squirrel in the parking lot of a local library.

One of the worst side effects of the COVID-19 crisis has been the closing of these  inspirational places. During a time when we are all spending more time at home, in a cruel twist of fate, we are unable to obtain books – or DVDs for education and entertainment.

This library made an effort to remain open, serving patrons through an open window during the first week of limited local activities, until the grave danger of the disease caused them to close completely, in order to protect us.

At least spring is on its way, in spite of the forecast for snow the next few days. That thought and the sight of this cheerful little squirrel provided me with the moment of hope I needed to endure the rest of the day.

Forgotten Daffodils Bring Inspiration

There’s a longer post about this: on LinkedIn.

I’m finding I must remind myself of simple pleasures I’ve often skipped over in recent years in order to lessen stress.

During these days of crisis, a simple walk outside can be a wonderful way to raise spirits and build the sustenance necessary for enduring the “new normal” for as long as we must to minimize future risk from this virus.

A tour of the lawn revealed these daffodils, surviving through my recent neglect of the flowerbeds which used to bring me so much pleasure.

I’d forgotten the lovely light fragrance of these delicate blooms. They are now decorating the peak of a bookcase, scenting the air  nicely though I only brought in these three blooms.

A Golden Day

There’s nothing  vague about spring’s statement this morning.

My drive to work was like a trip through fairyland, as sudden showers of flowers filled the air with freshness and painted the drab landscape with color.

Golden blooms of forsythia and daffodil glow in the bright sunshine of this fair day. Snows of last week are forgotten, optimism fills the air as faith in the circle of the seasons is renewed.

Two Front Page Stories that Rock

This roller-coaster spring-winter weather can completely  deplete one’s energy. We are all in need of inspiration to take us through the transition to spring.

Two headlines in my favorite Newspaper, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, today, April 14, 2018, entertained and inspired me this morning.

Nonprofit Landlord keeps Family Dollar on W 25th: Though not a big fan of dollar stores, they seem to have replaced privately owned retail shops in areas that lack larger retail outlets. The “corner store” referenced in the article was in danger of closing as it wasn’t as profitable as the expensive condos in the remainder of the building.

Thankfully , a neighborhood group formed a non-profit, Ohio City Inc. to keep the much needed retail outlet in the neighborhood, providing an essential service to those without ready access to shopping centers, and as a convenience for citizens of all incomes.

The group received some creative financing, allowing them to keep the store open, regardless of profit level, as long as it serves a need in the community. Hopefully this story can serve as a model for other citizens to find innovative ways to fill needs when profit goals rule over human needs, as they so often do these days.

On a lighter note, the story of the Rock Hall of Fame induction ceremony prompted thoughts of some of my favorite bands. It seems Bon Jovi, Dire Straits, The Cars, The Moody Blues, Nina Simone, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe are being inducted this year. The latter two I’m not familiar with, but the others are long time favorites.

An inner page article shared some trivia about the Hall. The Beatles are the only band to have all members inducted individually also. Much of the memorabilia and displays seem to feature the iconic group, and rightly so. (See my blog article Where Would We Be Without The Beatles, under the category of Music culture).

I see the showers are starting outside, it seems the word snow is in the forecast for  next week too. Looks like I’ll need to seek out some more inspiring news features for next week.