As it turns out, there’s more to life than lilacs —:
When we moved up to the Berkshires, leaving behind our beloved Japanese garden, there was only one plant I was really sorry to leave behind, a wonderful clematis, with great flat flowers like saucers of deepest blue-purple. I really regretted giving up my clematis.
There did seem to be remnants of some sort of vine on the trellis masking the cooling unit on the side of our new house. But in winter it was all withered and brown and straggling. In April, though, it began greening up. Slowly, pointed buds began to form and swell.
One night as I looked through the window there was a ghostly glimmer of white. Next morning, there was a huge platter of a seven-petaled white flower, and at its heart a spiky low crown tipped with purple. Enormous white flowers ramble now all over the vine, I am SURE they are clematis, simply a different variety and color. They are an unexpected joy, a bonus, a gift.
Does anyone else remember the movie, Babette’s Feast? At the end a retired general rises to give a toast at a dinner party. The hostesses, and the general, and Babette, the cook: their lives weave together in mysterious ways, and each of their lives has involved renunciation. Each has given up (or had taken away) something they most longed for. At the conclusion of his speech, the general, deeply moved, looks around at everyone gathered around the table, the intricate connections, and points out how, in a most unexpected way and form, that which was lost is given again. In the end, he says, all is given.
So I had all the lilacs I could wish for, and my clematis too. In the end, everything is given.