Lilac Childhood

I grew up in Winnipeg, Canada, literally on the wrong side of the tracks; within sight and hearing of the tracks actually.  But we had one great wealth: our front yard was completely filled with Lilacs.  Nobody knew who planted them or when.  Nobody cared for them.  As a child I ran through them, as if they were a private forest.  When they bloomed I could cut armloads of them, bringing them to my favorite teacher.

Many years later when I was visiting Winnipeg I decided to take a drive past our old house and discovered that the Lilacs were gone (as was the house, but the Lilacs were what hurt me).  The area had been cleared for urban renewal, and never built.  It was just barren.  And it still makes me cry.

There is profound unity between the garden designer I am now and the seminal power of those Lilacs.

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