After so many moves and the annual feeding frenzy that has gone on every Spring since 2009 when renters get chased out of homes in deference to the promise of a ‘hottest ever’ sales season pitch to landlords, I stopped unpacking completely.
So it was that the plastic barrel holding all the wall hangings and the gallery of pictures of the kids when they were younger remained full of bubble wrapped packages. The box labelled ‘glass animals and limoges’ similarly sat in front of the curio cabinet, sealing tape keeping it safely shut.
My mom had been raised by older sisters and housekeepers while my grandparents went on the tradeshow circuit. Ironically Grandma would bring Mom a different mama/baby glass animal set from each trip. There are dozens of sets that Mom then passed to me when I was a girl. They take forever to pack and unpack. It’s easier to just leave them in the box. Likewise the set of eighteen delicate Limoges porcelain name place card holders for formal meals my Aunt Helen gave me are also tucked into the tissue paper confine of same said box.
The other boxes were rapidly disappearing. I kept a fairly steady pace. Then box three stopped me cold. There was a bundle of papers ordered chronologically for a lawyer to review. A controversy...my responses to a series of false accusations.
Let me tell you something about defamation of character lawsuits. They cost a lot of money up front because now you actually have to file. The rest of it is on contingency. They can only ask for two or three years wages. So unless the job made you a boatload of money, it’s not worth it to a lawyer to take even the most open and shut case. And any lawyer will tell you that the other side will have no compunction about shredding your children to discredit you.
So the stack got packed away, life moved on.
As I reread everything, like watching a car wreck in slow motion, I uttered these words. Actual words uttered out loud. With expression. I said,”Holy S**t they were LYING!!”. Out loud. With disbelief.
Now when your roots are in acting and Daddy spent thousands of dollars for you to be trained to get inside a character, plus you double major in early childhood and spend an entire semester learning to observe children, and then you go to seminary where’s it’s encouraged to develop empathy, the natural instinct is to go to the place of interior experience during epiphanies.
Immediately I did this Spock like emotional travel inside the main characters who I now understood knew exactly what the truth was and consciously chose to make up a lie.
I felt stupid. Here I had spent so much time responding as if there was a disagreement about perspective when in fact the people in question were just lying. I had been arguing with evil.
So then I said, “Hell No!!”. I’m not ever moving again. Two days later I decided to get a lilac tree. I’d put it in a bucket because ya never know. But I was going to plant that sucker.
See lilacs take years to bloom. They are forever plants for forever homes. Outside of Plumeria and Lily of the Valley, and Hawaiian White Ginger they are my favorite fragrance.
Within the week I started noticing lilacs everywhere. I chose a time on Friday when I could go plant shopping . I decided I was going to get three. I’ve got that Trinity interest goin’.
Thursday night when I returned home, I went to the deck for the last few rays of sunshine. Mentally surveying the geography of the deck to see where I would put the plants.
Decision made, I pulled my second hand chair up to the railing and put my chin on my hands to rest my head on the railing and look at the water. That’s when I saw them. There by the back fence, in full bloom were three lilac trees.
Goodness had already been planted. Permanence had already been planted . I knew in a heartbeat “Overcome evil with good” was here, was now, was in full bloom.
There are two ways to get ahead in life. You can lie. Or you can plant something good. If you lie, you eventually get sucked under by it. If you plant something good, the fragrance and the colour will go everywhere as a blessing.
Choose this day who you will serve. As for me and my house...