What’s the Symbolism in Your life?

Comment to enter my #giveaway!

When I was a young summer bride, newly arrived in Colorado with my cowboy, our first home was in Greely—feedlot capital of the world. Locals called the beefy fragrance permeating the shady streets and college campus “the smell of money.” But it wasn’t long before I discovered another perfume I much preferred: lilacs.

The bushes were everywhere. They bordered old homesteads, often growing tall enough to serve as windbreaks for farmhouses. They grew in city yards and along country lanes, and I quickly equated my new home with the beauty and perfume of the purple, white, or lavender blossoms.

The flowers said “Colorado” to me, and became a visual representation of my new life. Branding Wrangler's Heart_2

In many of my historical novels set in the Rocky Mountain state, I’ve scattered lilacs in some form—a bush in the background, or a bouquet of the fragrant blossoms on a table. Last year’s spring release, Branding the Wrangler’s Heart, showcased lilacs by the ranch house door.

Recently, I put the final touches on a manuscript set to release from Barbour Publishing in 2016—The Wrangler’s Woman. Sure enough, lilacs managed to slip into the tale.

But best of all, I have two young bushes behind my own home, and I delight in their spring color. Symbolism is important in stories, and for me, the lilacs of my Western romances symbolize my own young romance that grew into an enduring, life-long love.

Do you have symbols in your life that bring to mind an important moment or a loved one? If so, I’d love to hear about them. And when you leave a comment, you’ll be entered in a drawing for an e-copy of Branding the Wrangler’s Heart.


20 thoughts on “What’s the Symbolism in Your life?

  1. Mine is mountains. They symbolize God, strength, permanence, power, I don’t think I could live away from them.

    1. davalynn

      I so relate to that, Norma. So often I “lift my eyes to the hills.”

  2. Mine is the ocean. I see the power of God and the calm of the Spirit.

    1. davalynn

      Oh, yes, Penny. My work-in-progress is set on the California coast. The sea has such a way of mirroring our emotions and reminding us of our amazing God – all at the same time!

  3. Rhea Sawyer

    I find the symbolism in my life is captured on Roads Least Traveled. I see old abandoned towns where homes were once filled with family full love and laughter, memories of generations past. I guess those old homes are a symbol to me. I love those old homes with big front porches and swings, and large kitchens where loved ones sat around the table talking and listening to one another, and giving thanks for their blessed lives.

    1. davalynn

      Entire stories there, Rhea. I imagine you capturing some of that with your camera.

  4. Old gas pumps, corn fields and small towns filled with Victorian homes bring back memories of growing up in Iowa. They remind me of good times with my relatives who were so special to me.

    1. davalynn

      Sounds like wonderful family memories, Karen. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Hi Davalynn,

    We have a row of lilacs right outside our back door, started from my mother-in-law’s mother’s bushes. And Karen, I LIVE in one of those small towns…you did a great job picturing it. Thanks for a scent-ilating post, Davalynn.

    1. davalynn

      Wonderful, Gail. Scent-ilating! Love it!

  6. I grew up in Great falls, Montana and lilacs were everywhere. I also mentioned them in “Sapphire Skies,” my historical inspirational. Lilacs are my favorite flower, but they don’t grow so well in Southern California. I compensate by buying Lilac scented candles. I loved your post about symbolism.

    1. davalynn

      Mary – I think lilacs must do better in cooler climates, for they do thrive in the Rocky Mountain states. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  7. Janet K. Brown

    I would say the biggest symbol in my life is mountains. I write about God’s overcoming the impossible in our lives. When I was losing my weight, I remember being asked to list 3 reasons why I wanted to lose weight. I listed, 1. healthier 2. self esteem and 3. climb a mountain. One of my lowest times was when my hubby, my 3 daughters, and my 75 year old mother climbed a tall peak in Colorado. I made it last, huffing and puffing and red in the face. I promised myself one day I would climb a mountain without much exertion. That day came in Red River, New Mexico in 1998. Oh yes, God does work miracles.

    1. davalynn

      Fabulous, Janet. What a great symbolic visual. Congratulations on tackling both of your mountains.

  8. Enjoyed your post, Davalyn. I think I would have to say I like to use a sunrise or sunset to reflect a change in my character’s life situation.

    1. davalynn

      Good visual for transition, Patti. Much more beautiful than most actual transitions!

  9. Just yesterday I painted my garage door and outside plant stand the color of lilacs. I love purple and green in nature and enjoy the smell of lilacs and hyacinths in the spring. My favorite of God’s natural gifts to us, however, is waterfalls. (Of course we need some sort of a mountain to get them.) But as far as symbols go, I’m drawing a blank for my own life.

    1. davalynn

      Lovely, Gloria. Waterfalls often remind me of God’s provision. We once visited the falls in Great Falls, Montana. Not exactly mountainous as in Yosemite, but spectacular.

  10. I guess having flowers of any kind just outside my door symbolize home and stability for me. I remember helping my Mom weed the flower beds when I was little. Now, wherever I have lived I have planted flowers, and often the same ones from my childhood. Pansies, irises, petunias, and a pot of geraniums on the porch. They brighten my world, and remind me that I am loved.

    1. davalynn

      What a great reminder, Jenny. I’ve found it interesting that the word pansy is often used to denote weakness when they are one of the hardiest flowers! Strength in beauty, I say.


Comments are closed.