In spring’s fullest bloom, wearing purple dresses, the neighbor’s lilac bush is full, is fragrant. And just like that, I’m back on the farm, running ‘long the lane. At Grandma’s house.
I can see them now, stretching down that drive of dirt–white and purple lilacs on a wheat farm in Kansas. The farm. Where cousins played, shouting shrill into the night. Where small fry hid, nerves jangling, then sprinting to kick that can and to get there first…
Lilacs. Lanes. Cousins and wheat. Machines cut swaths through fields of gold, children sit high on grain in trucks, chewing ’til it turns into gum.
We’re walking past this towering bush, dropping petals down, and memories, and I’m standing in her kitchen. Right back on her green linoleum, hand dipping into a cookie jar, closing around a sugar wafer. There at Grandma’s house.
Scent of lilacs. The image of roses. The way she chuckled and the smile that shone when we’d walk in. All of that, and a sunset.
We’re past it now, still walking. Just walking. Up the road’s our home where children await our return. And in my mind–one spectacular sunset.
The day we buried her, we cried. Hugged necks. Told stories. Laughed belly laughs, of course, as Yoders always do.
Then came evening, hands working together in a plain church kitchen. And suddenly, a cry, “Come quick! You-all must see this!”
A cousin’s flung the door wide open. We spill out, old and young, faces turned right up. There, above the horizon, a brilliant sunset blazes ‘cross the western sky. Molten golds, fire in orange, streaks of red all glorious and bright.
We stop dead; awe, wonder, worship. Grandma’s there, just past that sunset, right on the other side. His Word’s all true, He meant what He said, and she–well, Grandma’s waiting.
At Home. Just up the road, right around the bend. In the Father’s house, she–He–they await our arrival. And we, together, all of us here, we’re walking, faces turned toward the sunset.
That’s what the lilacs say.