Monday, May 23, 2011
Lilacs and barefoot brides
It is spring. The smells are glorious, wafting in on the breeze from the lilac bush just outside my front window. Wherever I've lived, I've always been blessed with lilac bushes to welcome me into spring. When I was just eighteen, my best friend was getting married. It was 1975 and she wore bare feet up the aisle, carrying lilac blossoms, much to the complete dismay of her parents. She insisted on lilacs for her flower arrangements and most years, lilacs would have been ready for a June wedding. But not the year Beth got married. That year, spring came late. Still, she would not agree to buy florist flowers. Rather, she phoned her cousins who were travelling up from Minneapolis and asked them to pick lilacs for her wedding day. Which they happily agreed to. After the wedding, the three of us bridesmaids, dressed in golden muslin embroidered dresses, took pictures of each other in the park by the fountain. We were so young. Yet even at the age of eighteen, a half dozen of my closest friends were either married or had children or both. I feel lilacs connect me to those years of innocence. There were hardships in the world then too. But we hadn't entered yet the era of “environmental justice”. I didn't know a time would come when I would grieve for this earth and the damage that's been done to her. I didn't know that I would feel compelled to create a film that would be my own offering to the future of our earth (titled “Under the Pearl Moon”).
I don't expect I'll ever return to the days of barefoot brides and muslin bridesmaids dresses. But lilacs do return each year. As too does my gratitude for this incredible earth we're so privileged to live in.