New England Snowstorm

Individual lilac flowers, so delicate within their heavy “panicles” or nodding heads, belie this shrub’s sturdy constitution.  Lilacs are omnipresent among the oldest sites of New England, blooming exuberantly beside cellar-holes and crumbling stone walls of long abandoned homesteads, oblivious to extremes of weather and lack of care.  It’s small wonder that New Hampshire chose the lilac as official state flower to symbolize the hardy character of its citizens.  With their stalwart and ubiquitous presence, juxtaposed against romantic yet fleeting seasonal beauty, lilacs find a place in the deeply personal memories of most New Englanders.  Nineteenth century Massachusetts-born poet Amy Lowell said it best in her Lilacs poem: “Heart-leaves of lilac all over New England/Roots of lilac under all the soil of New England/Lilac in me because I am New England.”