I moved into my house in the dead of winter 2002. I didn’t meet my new neighbors until the spring thaw when everyone ventured out to start cleaning up their yards.
One spring afternoon as I approached my house after running errands, I noticed three grey haired men, probably in their 70’s, hunched over a shovel in my front yard. Not yet familiar with the neighbors, I was quite suspicious. What could they be digging up?
As it turns out, they weren’t digging up; they were digging “down”. As in, they were transplanting lilac bushes into my yard. Louie, who lived in the house behind me, wanted to trim back his lilacs which had spread too much along his yard. Rather than throw away perfectly good plants, he decided to give them to me – the new kid on the block. He enlisted Tommy and Paul, who live next door, to help. They planted one tree in the front and one in the back. By the time I discovered them, Tommy was replacing the last shovelful of dirt over the exposed roots and Paul had pulled out my garden hose to give them a good soaking.
I adore fragrant spring flowers. Before I lived in a house, and could grow my own, I would buy hyacinth bulbs for my apartment. In the spring, I breathe extra-deep just to inhale as much wonderful scents as possible. I had never owned a lilac before, so I didn’t know what olfactory treat was in store.
I didn’t learn until later that lilacs require a 6 year recovery period from the transplant. Every spring, I would inspect the new growth for buds hoping that it would sprout flowers.
Finally, this year – my seventh spring in this house, the long wait is over. The lilacs bloomed.
Thank you Tommy, Paul and Louie for such a wonderful gift!