Kavita Nalawde
Autumn was nearly approaching and we wanted to get our driveway done as soon as possible before the harsh reality of winter showed up. Everything was set, the planning was done, the builders were summoned, quotes were taken and the colour of the bricks was also chosen in advance. There was only one problem, a cherry tree.  It was a small (if I can call it a baby) cherry tree exactly my height but at close proximity to our front door. It was so near that the branches and the flowers banged against the lounge window on windy days. It had become imperative to get it transplanted to a safer place before it matured into a fully grown tree. 

We spoke to various gardeners who proclaimed it to be a very difficult task as a five foot tree would have deep roots going right under the house. Plus there was no guarantee that the tree would survive the ordeal of being transplanted. We didn’t want the tree to die but the driveway work couldn’t commence with the tree positioned as it was. We had moved to this house recently and wondered why the previous owners had thought to plant it so near to the house but the gardener had the view that it probably grew from a stray seed.

We both looked at the tree which now had four fruits on it. We couldn’t let it die.  A little time spent on Google gave valuable answers. It could be done but success was not guaranteed.

My husband came from work early the next day, changed and brought the spades out from the shed. It was six in the evening and we started digging a hole in the back garden at a safe place where the tree could actually thrive. The next day we started digging the actual tree. My little girl joined with her toy plastic spade as well talking to the tree and telling that it was going to be all right.

The digging was a more difficult job than written on the websites. We soon discovered a big main root horizontally going right below the drainage pipe.  The sun had set and the darkness made it very difficult to see. We had to leave it half way but couldn’t leave the root exposed. We covered it with dried brown leaves.

The next day we started digging again and my husband finally managed to get as much of the main root out as possible. He brought it to the back garden but there was another problem. The hole that we had dug was smaller and hence we had to dig some more. Finally we planted the tree again and watered it that night and the next.

After three days all the leaves of the tree fell down and our heart sank. We took refuge of Google again and found out this was exactly what was supposed to happen. A transplanted tree actually sheds all the leaves so that its energy is utilised in strengthening its roots.  The outcome of the whole process could only be known in Spring. Thus with great anticipation we waited for the cold, dark winter months to end.

Finally Spring came in all its glory with leaves and colour everywhere but our baby cherry tree was still barren.  Every morning we looked in its direction for some sign of colour but were always disappointed.

The sun shone beautifully yesterday and with the cool breeze it felt wonderful, not too hot, not too cold, just pleasant. I went out with my daughter in the back garden and couldn’t believe my eyes. All the branches of the tree were brown but on one of them were two incredibly small green leaves. I jumped, laughed and cried to the amazement of my daughter. I called up my hubby who was in the middle of a meeting and said ‘the leaves have come’. He knew exactly what I meant and I got his call back after the meeting was finished. It felt wonderful. 

The morning started with my book being approved on Smashwords for premium distribution and by the evening I saw the cute little leaves.  It felt symbolic.

Never had two leaves given me so much of pleasure as this time.

Spring has started to reveal its presence in the garden. The trees, the shrubs, the bushes all seem to sway in a rhythmic way to the gentle music of the heavens. There is colour in different shades of green, yellow, red and pink.

The plum tree full of little pink buds appears caring and compassionate as it gives shelter to two magpies. The black and white birds seemed to be quite interested in the tree flying around it for a long time before finally deciding to build their home there.  The nest that was in full view at the start of Feb is slowly being veiled by the maroon leaves.

Though the mornings are still cold the warmth of the sun is starting to feel pleasant. There is life, hope, peace and happiness all around in nature and the only thing I feel it asks back is appreciation. Enjoy the colour and vibrancy of the season.