in General

Lilac Airs

Along one wall of the hotel where I am working there is a tall row of lilac trees. Each hour as I walk past them on a round I’m overwhelmed by the aroma they give off and struck by the beauty that so strongly contrasts the crumbling motel structure. The scent of lilacs has ties to a lot of pleasant memories for me and that’s combining with a sense of hope and fresh wishing each time I walk through the lilac airs.
It has been over five months since I was last outside this city (blame it on the fact I’m a hardworking pedestrian cityfellow). I do love it here in Halifax, but I miss the unobscured night skies and the expanses of trees and farmland of rural Nova Scotia. I wish to walk in the stillness the woods and drink in the heady smell of pine, maple, spruce and birch.
It’s been years since I last went camping and right now I wish to be spending a night beneath the stars. I would love to be within the orange glow of a campfire in Paraboro and piecing together constellations; you simply can not do that with a sky holding only a handful of stars. I’d anticipate a day walking along the enchanting beaches there in Parsboro, with the cliffs of change and age. There’s no other place I’ve been that carries the mysteries of time and transformation so subtly and pervasively, not the Rockies, Niagra Falls nor California’s redwood forests; the precious stones and fossils whisper from the rock of divinity.
As I’ve entered into a life of practice, cultivating the ability to live as art and love, I find a growing appreciation for beauty. I think that’s one of the more marvelous aspects of mindfulness, the awareness of the beauty of all we experience. It brings together two aspects of who I am in harmony; the realist and the romantic are one and the same. I revel in the lilacs as they are now; though I know they are fleeting I don’t hold on to what is passing.
What challenges me most is when romance leaves the realm of appreciation for beauty in everything to foster a romantic love for all the beauty of a person. As I find myself becoming enamored with a woman who possesses many traits I hold to be beautiful, I’m filled with ever-dangerous hope and longing. It’s harder now to remain mindful and not be set up for heartache.
While the beauty of the world is an ever-present wind, the beauty of romantic love can be more like a seed on that wind that slips into our backs and takes root in our hearts. Growing outward, the roots pervade us, sliding through our veins. There’s nothing more blissful than sharing that growth; there’s nothing more devastating than having those roots ripped out.
Expectation and attachment are harmful, so I’m doing my best to cultivate mindfulness. i’ll enjoy this scent of lilacs as long as I am able to with all my heart but not grow expectant. I’ll revel with care and remember that, while the flowers are wonderful, the true promise of lilac trees lies in the lifetimes they last.

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  1. “Soft revolutionary” is a term coined (as far as I know) by the band Stars to describe, as I understand it, an approach to change (revolution) founded on love and embracing beauty. You can read about it in this article: http://www.scenemagazine.co

    “'It has to start inside yourself with the idea that there is a link between the personal and the political,' Campbell explains. 'But over that whole notion, you've got to recognize love. In times like these, love is a very revolutionary, violent and aggressive thing. It's all about moral understanding and forgiving, and that's where art comes in.'”

  2. “Soft revolutionary” is a term coined (as far as I know) by the band Stars to describe, as I understand it, an approach to change (revolution) founded on love and embracing beauty. You can read about it in this article: http://www.scenemagazine.co

    “'It has to start inside yourself with the idea that there is a link between the personal and the political,' Campbell explains. 'But over that whole notion, you've got to recognize love. In times like these, love is a very revolutionary, violent and aggressive thing. It's all about moral understanding and forgiving, and that's where art comes in.'”