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Stealing Connie’s Lilacs  

Helping Myself to Your Flowers, 8 x 8 inches, acrylic on paper, 2011.Dear Connie,

So there you were, right across the street from me.  Allow me to set the stage. My bedroom window is right in front of the house. It’s a beautiful spring morning. It rained the night before. I’m lying in bed, the window is open, the birds are singing, a gentle breeze is drifting through the window. Floating on that breeze, don’t forget the birds are singing, is a subtle yet intoxicating fragrance. I perk up and then I sit upright in bed. Oh boy! Connie’s lilacs are opening! I am compelled, and I mean that literally because I can’t help myself.  I am compelled to run across the street and clip a stem to bring back in the house. Well, since I’m confessing, two or three stems. 

Every year since you planted them, I had the same response to your lilacs blooming.  And it is one of the most visceral memories I have of my neighborhood.  I love the way the stems gracefully droop over the sides of the container. I love the fragrance that fills the house. I love the texture and design of the leaf. And for goodness sakes, they’re purple. 

What did you think was going to happen when you planted an entire hedge of lilacs right along the street? Did you think we were all going to just walk past them every day and settle for brushing up against them for a little sniff? You did? I think I’m speaking for all of us living in immediate proximity to your lilac hedge. We became drunk with the heady fragrance of the blooms, and like possessed women, went straight for them.   I was really careful when I snipped the branches to make sure I didn’t damage the bush.  I hoped my pruning made it fuller the next year.

I’ll just conclude by saying I had many gratifying days when the lilacs where in my house. When I dream myself back into the old neighborhood, you are in my kitchen and the lilacs are blooming. Please accept these Small Art Paintings titled Connie’s Lilacs as an apology for over pruning your lilacs and taking more than I should have.  

Love, Susan

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