When I was a very little girl, just five or six years old, I discovered a secret.
Flowers in the garden are wonderful. But fresh-cut bouquets of homegrown blossoms make pure magic.
This secret was revealed to me by a few of my first-grade classmates who brought bouquets of lilacs to our teacher, Mrs. Newhart. Undoubtedly pruned from blooming bushes just that morning, these fistfuls of delicate purple blossoms were wet with morning dew and unbelievably fragrant. My fellow students presented their gifts to the teacher, stems carefully wrapped first in wet paper towels, then covered in plastic wrap and secured with a red rubber band. My teacher kept several green glass vases up on the shelf in her coat closet and on these glorious mornings, pulled them out to receive her gifts. Filled with awe over this unexpected beauty, I sat in rapt attention watching the ceremony unfold.
Although I had lived all my years surrounded by beautiful flowers, both in gardens and growing wild in the woods where I played, it never occurred to me to pick them and take them inside.
I'll confess that as a grown-up, I cringe when I cut flowers from my garden. Gosh darn it, the blossoms just last so much longer when they remain on their stems, connected to their live-giving leaves.
But on this May Day, a day for giving bouquets, I am reminded of the power of fresh-cut flowers. So enjoy this bunch of lovely lilacs; I picked them just for you!
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More stories of my magical childhood adventures: