Tuesday, May 14, 2013


In my part of Canada, spring is a rather fleeting experience. As recently as a week and a half ago, we had a snowfall. The sort of snow that sticks to the ground overnight, even. Today it's bright and sunny; enough so that over the past two weeks I've regularly seen short shorts and little tank tops. I've been slightly more circumspect - transitioning with my lightweight leather jacket, tights under my skirt, swapping sweaters for tops worn with blazers. In a month the weather networks will be talking about our first heat wave of the year, humidity will make everything cling and fog over and get sweaty and gross, and temperatures will probably climb above 30*C.

Fall is a more drawn out season, perhaps, but my climate is ruled by the two extremes, and lots of wetness in the air.

My parents bought this house the summer I was six. I finished kindergarten and started the first grade in a new city. In a house I've never really liked in any way, there is one redeeming feature that somehow makes it feel like home. It just so happens that it's a feature that only comes once a year and is even more fleeting than spring itself.

At six years old, the lilac bushes that framed the yard were shorter than I was. Now, they are taller than many of the neighbourhood trees. Two weeks a year, when we pull into the drive way I'm hit by a sudden, unexpected feeling of being home. It's a feeling I can't force out any other time, not for this house, but when the lilacs begin to bloom? It's irresistible.

Of course, the buds are just beginning to swell and bloom and this is just the start of lilac season. Hopefully I'll have another two full weeks of open lilac buds in the yard, and maybe even in a vase.

Bunny of course is someone underwhelmed by the lilacs that have been left to run amok, much like the rest of my mom's yard, and spent much of last fall heavily pruning them. For all the trees you see there, and all the little shoots coming up, there were plenty more that he ruthlessly pulled up.

When we talk about our imaginary house, the one that we save our pennies for and are hoping to purchase by this time next year, we have a fairly clear idea of many of the "projects" we are going to take on and the way we're going to own it. Clearly we'll do lots of things inside, but we're also wanting to put work into our outdoor space. There will be a vegetable garden, and cherry or crabapple trees (we both love the leaves) and there will be a fence that serves as a sight-barrier (I like my privacy, it gives me more space to run around naked).

And there will be lilacs. Lots and lots of lilacs. So that when the buds start opening for spring, I will always feel home.

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