“Close your eyes. Now breathe in through your nose.  Deep. This is Grammy’s in the springtime.”   I put my hands on the side of his head and tilted his head up.  He was already smiling when I told him to open his eyes and there it was – looking up into a tall tree in full bloom with lilac.

lilac Syringa vulgaris in bloom

lilac Syringa vulgaris in bloom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They don’t turn on the air conditioner until it is way more consistently hot and so the house smells like lilacs when the breeze blows in.  It is the smell of springtime at Grammy’s, while we sat around and the five of us had dinner, while MaF said goodbye to Dave, while we talked about the cat.  It smelled like springtime.

I remember, vaguely, John bringing my attention to the lilac bush 20 something years ago.  I remember being so sad last year (with the wildly early spring here) that I had missed the lilac by a week.  Right now there are white, lavender, and deep purple bushes all over the place and with each of them I try very hard not to run over and just jam my face in them with my eyes closed and breathing deeply.

When I turned to send Jeff back inside to continue playing I looked up the back steps.  There MaF was, standing and smiling at me.  She knows I love them, that house, those years and the years still to come.  She may be Cookie Grammy, but now she is also the Grammy of the perfect, fragile, deep smell of real lilac in the spring.