Today is the day we celebrate "la festa della mamma"——Mother's Day——in Italy, so I'd like to send a wish to all of the women who so beautifully mother & nurture others, including my own creative, inspiring & loving mother, and my daughter, who has inherited the same qualities.
I also thought this would be a good chance to finally share an image of my lilac "story strips" from last spring (above, left & below). They were made from the Mother's Day lilacs my daughter had given me last year, which I wrote about in this post. Spring was all but over by the time I finally sorted through my photos of the rows of lilac buds/petals/clusters I had assembled, and it felt like the moment to post them had passed. Here are a few notes I had written at the time:
I wish I had created pages & pages of lilac story strips, but that won't be possible for another nine months or so. One thing is certain: lilacs do not overstay their welcome!
I conducted an experiment of sorts, to see if I could entice them into a lengthier visit by snipping the blooms from the woody stems and submerging them in a sink full of water. Not only did the tender, wilted flowers perk up but, almost completely submerged in tall clear glasses of water, they lasted for another several days (image above, right). I was surprised to see that the lilac color began to fade at one point, and eventually the tiny flowers became colorless (essentially white) before shriveling to pale brown.
The flowers that dried right on their stalks, on the other hand, turned a deep, almost-black purple, and have joined the tray of floral remnants left from each month's flower explorations. I find I am equally fascinated by what remains at the end of a flower's life as by the flower at its freshest.
And here's a glimpse of some of the Mother's Day treats I awoke to: a "bouquet" of chocolate-covered strawberries & blackberries, a pyramid of chocolate-mocha-pecan muffins, a heart-shaped cardboard Mother's Day card & a glass of fresh orange juice (enthusiastically drunk before I snapped the photo). My daughter also took the time to learn how to make coffee with my fun new espresso maker, which I will have to write about here one day——it's an objet d'art in its own right!).