Lilacs in April

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been particularly aware of blossoms and blooms in differing shades of purple and relishing their fleeting appearance. Earlier this month my husband and I spent a long weekend  in Venice and I was struck by the abundance of flowering wisteria; I hadn’t witnessed Venice in April since I was a student there in 1980 so had forgotten about that particular seasonal splendour:

 

 

Over the Easter weekend I walked around London’s Regent’s Park and once again found myself sensitive to the colour purple. I was aware that it happened to be the 3rd anniversary of Prince’s death, one of my favourite musicians, but I don’t think I was consciously or unconsciously thinking about His Royal Purpleness or Purple Rain. It was definitely the lilacs. I’ve always loved their beauty and perfume.  When I was growing up we had two lilac trees in our Finchley back garden. We’d pick bunches of lilacs when they were flowering and place them in vases. I remember my disappointment at how short lived that experience was. They started to droop very quickly; it was one of my first experiences of transient beauty and ephemera.

Some more photographs of the lilacs in Regent’s Park:

It was a glorious day and in the photograph below the lilacs are almost sculptural in the strong sunlight:

As I left the park and started walking towards Marlylebone Road I saw more lilacs against a wrought iron gate. These struck me as more austere and solemn and I recalled the opening lines of T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land:

April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire:

Yesterday, Easter Monday I decided to embrace the lilac theme even further by wearing a Katya Wildman Bombshell dress featuring an archive lilac Liberty print. Here I am in St. James’s Park:

 


Also published on Medium.

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