Between bird cherry and lilac


There is a story about a Swedish shoemaker who never went on vacation, never closed his workshop except once a year. Every year in May he put up a sign on the door that said “Closed between bird cherry and lilac” and the day the bird cherry burst into bloom, he closed his workshop and didn’t come back until the lilacs were blooming, no matter how long or short amount of time passed in between. This phrase, closed between bird cherry and lilac, has since become an expression meaning this particular enjoyable¬†time of year. The expression has a few¬†different tellings, all including shoemakers and a closed workshop, but this is how I prefer to believe it since this is how my mother told it to me.

I like to picture him, the shoemaker, lying in a hammock in the sun, inhaling the lovely bird cherry scent, sleeping with a hat over his face in a well deserved rest after all the work he’s done since last time the lilacs were in bloom. My mum and I usually ponder over how long the shoemaker gets some time off every year and this year I think it’s about a week. The lilacs will be here any day now.

Summer is not even close to being in full bloom yet, summer hasn’t even truly started yet, and I’m a little less withered than yesterday. My lace still looks like withered lettuce though, but there is much more of it now. It’s a little weird that in order to get full blooming lace, I need to knit more and more withered lettuce, but then again, it’s hard to block a finished project before it’s actually finished.


I got some more lettuce done at theater practise and soon both lace and lilacs will be blooming.