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A harvest of purple joy fills the basket of a little girl in spring's wild flower garden.
Lilacs are the harbinger of spring and summer, the glorious purple, violet, and lavender flowers that burst into bloom for a few weeks in May, filling the air with their heady, sweet aroma. One wants to, like the little girl in Lilac Festival, fill a basket to overflowing with these gems from the flower world.
But lilacs are a fragile flower. Regardless of how quickly one moves them into a vase of water, the purple blooms quickly begin to droop, and the color is not as vibrant as it was on the bushes. Lilacs are a reminder of the beauty yet temporary nature of life itself –
“The life of mortals is like grass; they flourish like a flower in the field,” the Bible’s Psalm 103 says. Lilacs bring these words to a visual awareness.
Lilac Festival, the artwork, invites the viewer to step into the country garden with a very small, very innocent little girl, and not worry about modern life for awhile. Wise in her innocence, the child sees the beauty of the flowers and smells their honeyed aroma – regardless of what she “should” be doing (and increasingly, we adults schedule the lives of young children so that those lives look as busy and faux productive as our own), she stops to be in the midst of the lilacs, to gather a basketful of their beautiful blossoms, and to marvel at the explosive panoply of color – the lavenders, lilacs, purples, and violets – in her basket.
These flowers may never make it into a vase, but that’s okay – they have made it into the heart and mind and imagination of the child, and she will remember this warm, beautiful spring day for the rest of her life. Some day, when she is an adult sitting at a desk and wondering why she was born and what is her purpose in life, she will remember that day amongst the lilacs and know that, whatever she is searching for, at one time she found it here.
(Lilac Festival takes place in the countryside of Eastern Washington, but it can be anyplace where children and flowers find one another.)
Lilac Festival is featured on 31 Fine Art America groups.
March 30th, 2017
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