Friday, March 30, 2012

Lilac Freckles and Slamming Doors

 Ever had one of those days when you wanted to jump out of the car window?

You see it started with my grandmother's flowers. I noticed them blooming yesterday. Her old-timey azalea bush with the bell-shaped blooms transplanted from her home to mine. Every spring she visits me with lilac elegance and paper-thin petals. Today I wanted to wallow in them, wrap myself in her fragrance and take a good deep breath of her, swaying, as she was, in the afternoon sun.
I don't know what she would have said about the door I slammed today, only that she would have slammed it sooner. And chastised me only for daring to jump out a window when the proper southern dramatic thing would have at least involved a cliff. (hat tip, dear friend, you know who you are)

I did manage to beautifully rattle the windows when my angry laced hand flung the handle. It was an earth-shattering jar meant to bend Heaven's ear.  "Oh child," she seemed to say with her laughing lilac eyes today, "if you're gonna slam a door, slam it right."

Whenever I used to tell her my troubles and wave my hands around and get all in a dither she would never ever commiserate with me about my situation. She would sit at the kitchen table with me with her cigarette ashes falling in her coffee cup and all over the table, and hang on every word I said right down to the dramatics - which always gave her a smile of delight, as if to say... why didn't I think of that. You are so smart to think of that my girl. Even if she secretly disagreed, it was almost worth falling into drama to see her reaction when the telling began. It didn't matter how wrong I was. It only mattered to me that she listen. It only mattered to her that she listen.  What she didn't say was all I needed to hear.

So today I spent some time outside pondering doors, the ins and outs of them, and how so very easy it is step through when the lilacs are blooming and spring is forever spring. How deafening they sound in the stem of your heart when the only thing left to do is retreat. Such is the courage of  breaking twigs.

There is a deep unspoken balance between dances in my Cherokee heart and love that flows between slamming doors. And suddenly I see freckles on a petaled face, the wrinkle in my nose, the blush in my cheeks, and the wind in a patch of azaleas.

Hers.
All hers. 
 She knew how to slam a door.





Photography Mimi Lenox

7 comments:

Travis Cody said...

Polished stone marbles, little dolls in a box, a piano, and delicate lilacs. You are well served by your grandparents, my dear.

Mimi Lenox said...

Travis - Eternally. And all those things breathe life into the real me - just like they did.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

And YOU know how to tell a poignant and beautiful story. Thank you! (I love your grandma! In fact, I love ALL grandmas!)

Mimi Lenox said...

Sherry - The influence that grandparents have cannot be overstated. I hope I live up to their standard when it comes to my own grandchildren.

dawn said...

"What she didn't say was all I needed to hear."

You had a very wise grandmother...

cheryl said...

Such a touching story Mimi, one worth remembering forever :)

Mimi Lenox said...

Dawn - She was she was.

Cheryl - I am trying more and more to write things down when the mood strikes.

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