Thursday, 29 October 2015

A Tree Retires

For as long as my mother has lived in her current home, the apple tree has been the central focus of her garden. This beautiful old tree has generously given shade on sunny days, produced wondrous blossoms, surrendered so much fruit that even my mother has cried, "enough with the stewed apple."

Children have climbed her branches; birds have nested and played in her limbs; and I have appreciated her shape and her steadfastness. When I look out of the bedroom window at my mother's house, the apple tree is my measure of the season. I wonder if I took her for granted, if I assumed she would always be there and so failed to continually appreciate her many gifts.

Now she has gentle toppled - away from the house, which seems typical of her considerate nature. She has come to rest on a piece of trellis that needed replacing and on my mother's slightly neglected lawn lounger. If I had my way, she would remain there to be an elaborate bird stand, but she will most likely be sawed up and burned. Before that happens, I will talk with her, visit her, sit on her body where she lies like a woman half-sleeping her way through autumn.