Saturday, May 5, 2007

Tangled Up in Lilacs

I love this time of year ... when lilacs are blooming like crazy. They are everywhere, so you can put a bouquet in every room. I was lucky to marry in early May, and have a bridal bouquet that was mostly lilacs (with a few white roses) The men's boutonnières were a single white rose with a sprig of lilac. We married at City Hall in Manhattan, in a simple and swift ceremony, with a small group of friends to witness, but everyone having flowers added a certain flair. The maid of honor said we were the best smelling wedding party ever. We certainly smelled better than the group that was finishing up their hot-dog vendor breakfast while waiting outside the tiny chapel inside this huge Renaissance Revival building. My bridesmaid pointed out that Hot Dog Bride was carrying fake red roses. Hot Dog Bride was wearing a white satin dress and looked deliriously happy. Scanning the large waiting room, I saw we were a motley group of brides, grooms and well-wishers. Some nervous brides and grooms paced or stood smoking in the corridor next to giant ashtrays with sand in them. Bridal attire ranged from blue jeans, dressy business suits, simple frocks, to full-on bridal gowns, some with elaborate veils and trains. It was surreal and funny, and perfect. I wondered how many couples had waited right here to be married since this City Hall was completed in 1811. Outside, the weather was glorious.The day was glorious.

Today is a sharp, bright day, the kind of day that is better to live in than photograph. It is a perfect day to get married or attend a wedding.

The Dark Purple Common Lilac. The deer ate this plant down to a nub one year, but it slowly came back and now it is fine. When lilac time is over, we only have the sweet memory of the scent. And most lilac perfumes fall short, so I can only recommend two. Angélique-Lilas by Guerlain is a light blend of angelica and lilac -- very fresh and delicate. My favorite is Etoile du Sud by Fragonard. The lilac, ylang ylang , jasmine blend makes me dream of lilac time. It's very odd to put a few drops on and think of lilacs in the dead of winter-- It tranports you.

"I married Isis on the fifth day of May,
But I could not hold on to her very long.
So I cut off my hair and I rode straight away
For the wild unknown country where I could not go wrong."

"Isis, oh, Isis, you mystical child.
What drives me to you is what drives me insane.
I still can remember the way that you smiled
On the fifth day of May in the drizzlin' rain."
--Bob Dylan