Where the Lilies Grow

Updated May 14, 2022

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Where the Lilies Grow essay

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I remember how my younger sister and I used to make-believe play, we could go on for hours without taking a break to eat or go to the bathroom even. I remember associating such wonderful feelings with this type of play. In many instances, it almost felt real. The smell of dirt and sweat would permeate through our noses as we got lost in fairytale fantasy’s that would take us away from reality. I would often play a mother or teacher or someone famous, regardless of the character, I was always the authoritative one. It was almost devastating when we had to quit playing and go inside. Mother would always have to call for us over and over. When we finally did succumb to our fairytale ending, we tucked our heads in sadness and headed for the door. My mother would often say, you girls smell like wet dogs as we entered into the house. After bathing, my sister and I would often watch Gunsmoke. Miss Kitty was my idol I just loved her sultry raspy voice and I admired her and saw her as a strong woman even though I was only 7 years old. I still knew what admiration was. As bedtime came my sister and I could hardly sleep because we were so excited about going to Nana and Poppy’s for the summer.

The next morning my sister Margi and I were off to school, just one more day until school let out for the summer. Oh, how we were so excited. Going to my great grandparents house every summer is what I most looked forward to. Nana always had something delicious cooking, her most famous was her apple pies, they smelled of fresh apples and buttery crust that you could smell from a block away. Nana had many talents other than cooking, she was also the seamstress always darning Poppy’s socks because he worked hard tending to the farm, spending long hours out with smelly animals. Poppy was a good hard-working man who would give Nana anything she wanted. Nana had a garden of lilies these were her most prized possessions. They were white and smelled of such sweetness. That’s where lilies began to grow on me. They are my favorite flower.

School is out and mother had Margi and I all packed up and ready to go. As we drove to Nana and Poppy’s we would play I spy in the car to help lapse the time. The stretch of road we drove was long and straight with no trees just dry desert terrain that smelled of incoming rain but no drops of moisture ever fell on the windshield. We finally arrived, as my sister and I jumped out of the car we both ran to Poppy who was standing on the porch, he had his arms open wide ready for big hugs and lots of kisses.

The porch was a big extension from the front door with a wraparound rock patio that was etched with a beautiful stone design. We all nestled inside the house after reuniting. Margi and I started looking for Nana because she was always right there waiting inside when we walked in after the big hugs and kisses from Poppy. I then detected a sad demeanor about Poppy, one that I had only seen one other time, in my mother, and that was when my dad had passed away. I thought to myself no this can’t be happening again it just can’t. Poppy sat me and my sister down and told us that Nana had gone to live in heaven and that she loved us very much.

Can you really at any time in one’s life make sense of why things happen as they do, but here I was a little girl trying to reason big thoughts and feelings and getting nowhere. The loss that I felt was real and this was a perfect time for fairytale play to escape into fantasy. And that’s just what my sister and I did. I mean I was only 7 and my sister was 5 and she really wasn’t understanding the scope of what was happening. Margi and I headed for the back door to our favorite shed.

When my sister and I would play at my great grandparents, we would pretend we were back in the older days when the women wore the big flamboyant dresses that had skirts that would drag a train of 4 feet. We felt so beautiful and admired. We created a house out of an old shed that smelled musty with the floor made out of dirt. The dresses we found in an old trunk and wore were Nana’s. As we took the dresses out of the trunk, they were heavy with many layers of material. They smelled very musty and had stains of moisture that had sept through the cracks in the trunk. But they were still absolutely beautiful and very much still intact.

We could use our imagination beyond our years. We would climb the salt cedar trees and tear off limbs to sweep the dirt floors with. Breaking the branches was a long process with a twisting motion that eventually disengaged from the tree. The smell and sticky feel of sap was mesmerizing even though annoying because it was so sticky. There was a spice rack that sat on the shelf that hung on the wall in the shed. Those spices became ingredients into the dirt pies that we would bake and I would feed to my sister, and she would reluctantly taste them. As I was cleaning up Margi had gone to capture our house pet which would end up being a horny toad a type of lizard that we always named Spot.

The summer ended and my sister and I were back home. After that summer everything changed about going to my great grandparent’s house. It wasn’t only that Nana was no longer there, there were no longer the smell of pies baking. The field of lilies that once were a beautiful blanket of white that would blow gently in the wind carrying the sweet aroma to the shed that Margi and I once played in were now an empty field of dirt where the lilies no longer grew.

Where the Lilies Grow essay

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Where the Lilies Grow. (2022, May 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/where-the-lilies-grow/


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