Sweaty, covered in dirt, and with hands bearing thorn inflicted wounds, Donna dug, pulled, and whacked with my heart shaped hoe.
Her house was in foreclosure.
The woman with feathered blonde locks and bright blue eyes loves plants, knows volumes about native perennials, and couldn’t bear to leave her charges behind to the possible neglect of new owners.
Her loss became my gain.
Twice she pulled up my drive in her white Chevy Malibu loaded down with plastic grocery bags that held clumps of dirt and green. Donna wore blue jeans, an old t-shirt and and carried garden gloves she hardly wore. She and I battled a hillside of weeds and grass, to give her lovelies a new home.
The original project that brought us together had nothing to do with plants. Donna had signed up for services from a reading tutor at the local library.
She got me.
We broke rules together and went off script from the Literacy Council’s workbooks, instead reading her gardening book, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series.
Donna moved and we drifted apart, but I’ll never forget the lessons she taught me about plants and life, honesty, hard work, friendship and courage.
Every spring when the trilliums, ginger, and blood root start popping up, I take photos and text them to Donna. What’s this one’s name? This one had a rough winter—look at the broken leaves. :( The wild geranium looks strong this spring!
I bet there’s somebody who has left tracks on your heart, too.
How about sending them a note?