I am back from another jam-packed month of May in South Dakota, my mind full of memories and experiences that I’m still processing. It’s hard to decide what to share first, but today’s Shutter Sister topic helped make up my mind. They ask, “Share with us wonder and questions and eyes bigger than ordinary. Share with us faith and unfaith and how it looks to wonder what happens next.”
And so, I share with you lilac photos. These are not just any lilac photos, however. These are lilacs that survived a massive flood in Rapid City in 1972, one that killed almost 300 people and swept away the very homes around which the lilacs grew. Fortunately, my parents were out of town on their honeymoon that week when their little rental home near the river was destroyed. These five lilac bushes stand evenly spaced in a large field near a city park, steadfastly hanging on and continuing to grow decades after they were planted. That they survived amazes me. Apple trees can also be found nearby, and in other parks, poppies sprout year after year along the river where gardens were once nurtured. In their own way, the lilacs and poppies stand as memorials to the lives that were lost, blooming each year near the flood’s anniversary.
And so, I wonder what parts of you and me hang on and survive after change, whether good or bad. I wonder what parts of us tenaciously remain rooted in our souls, even when much around us changes, even when our very selves are changed through the floods and feasts of life. It’s something I’m still thinking about.
I suspect the lilacs will be around for many more decades.