Rendered Fat Content


Anselmus Boëtius de Boodt: Sering
[Syringa vulgaris] (1596 - 1610)

" … though this news was never once reliably reported anywhere."

I am reliably informed that this world has already gone to Hell. Reliably informed yet still disbelieving, I somehow manage to face each new morning, influenced for certain by Molly our cat and her first thing in the morning enthusiasm. She's tripping me down the dark staircase, often trilling in apparent anticipation, hopping up onto the dining room table as I pass, to mug for a head scratch our even a full length body stroke. She quivers in anticipation of what comes next. Next, she'll race me into the kitchen where she'll vault onto the kitchen table, glancing back to make certain I followed, where she'll position herself for what must serve as a great conformation for her, her first thing in the morning ration of kitty treats, which I pile up on a piece of newspaper before her. She digs in, every bit the trencher I know her to be at heart, submitting to ever more enthusiastic stroking on my part. I pet her in humble and sincere appreciation for her reminder, served that same time every morning, that this world has not necessarily already gone to Hell, nor does it really seem to be headed in that direction. For that moment if for no other, all's right with the world, whatever calamity flashes just over the horizon.

In the same way that Molly's enthusiasm reassures me every morning, when Spring finally arrives after weeks of unconvincing promising, the world around me takes up Molly's morning role and commences to exhibit considerable enthusiasm for life as it just is in that moment.
LilacSeason commences, first with blushing hints of color before displaying cascading fountains of it. And scent, Heaven sent by the texture of it. The gnarly old stalks turn gentle and promising and the whole backyard seems to sing. I know my heart does! Whatever discouragements or disappointments might have influenced my passage since this same season last year, all gets forgiven, forgotten, and blessed. I survived to experience another in a so-far unending stream of LilacSeasons, and all's right with my world, however reliably it's been reported otherwise.

One year, back when I was traveling everywhere, I managed to find myself in five distinct LilacSeasons. The first in the Carolinas in mid-March. The last, in the high Rockies in mid-June, for cripes sake! I milked every ounce of reassurance out of that over-promising Spring. I've experienced worse, ones where my travel schedule seemed especially designed to deny me even one sniff of LilacSeason, where I'd arrive a few days late or a few days early, never managing to land in the middle of a single one. I felt the absence of that simple presence until about the same time the following year, and that time passed painfully slowly. Without this renewal, I find myself much less able to navigate the intervening months, just like my days seem more daunting after mornings where Molly had stayed out all night and hasn't yet shown up to shadow lead me down to the kitchen first thing in the morning, her joy for living communicable and me infectious as Heaven. (I was got to say, "Infectious as Hell," but with the world reliably reported to have turned to Hell and LilacSeason successfully providing salvation, my infection, complements of Molly and of LilacSeason, just seems more heavenly than hellacious.)

The house I grew up in was lined on one side with a long line of lilac bushes. My dad struggled to keep them tame and often lost the tussle. The other side of the place hosted three or four more spreading lilacs, grown to trees. An ancient French White nearly as tall as that two story Victorian, even including its daylight basement, and two or three velvety purple jobs in fine repose. I looked down upon those bushes from my bedroom window as I plotted my pathway into my future, Reconning with little experience upon which to draw. I did have my senses and could smell what naturally attracted me. In some ways, I believe that I plotted my pathway between Lilac\Seasons, anchoring each move with forward anticipation of a next and then a following next one coming. I would sometimes have to sort of hold my breath in anticipation of the next one coming, testing my faith when my faith went lacking. Even then, if I remember well, the world I inhabited had been repeatedly and reliably reported as having already gone to Hell. I couldn't really tell from where I surveyed. To me, up almost under the eaves, it almost seemed like Heaven down there, though this news was never once reliably reported anywhere.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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