Can You Smell Them? It’s Home

Lilacs by the roadMy eyes hurt, my nose runs, my head feels I hit a door but I don’t care, there are lilacs in the house along with some lily of the valley and in a few weeks there will be peonies.  The perfume of the flowers of spring trumps allergies.  They are magnificent.  They are the fragrance of love.

Yesterday a friend said she wanted dark lilacs to put in her Mother’s vase.  Her husband suggested something else but she said they had to be the dark purple ones because that is what her Mom had.

I can relate.  I have two very special vases in my house.  One belonged to my great grandmother.  It is a heavy glass and is likely moulded.  It is the perfect size for a bunch of tulips or a little cluster of almost anything.  The other is a Cornflower swan which belonged to my grandmother.  I think I gave it to her when I was about eight and from that day on it sat in the middle of her dining room table with a little mirror under it.  There weren’t always flowers in it but when there were of the delicate variety. Sometimes they were pansies or carnations but her favourite was the lily of the valley.

Our olfactory memory is supposed to be the strongest memory we have. For me, and for my friend, it is certainly the happiest memory we have.  The sweet fragrance of these old fashioned flowers floods our hearts with joy.  We think of the women who lovingly filled the vases and welcomed visitors and family to their tables to enjoy the perfume of home.    The sweet fragrance of unconditional love.


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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