Life was turbulent with some fresh wounds. A new home had an old apple tree and a kinship was shared. The stress of life became too much for the old apple tree. The night before it was to be cut down, I wrote this piece:
I know not how old you are – but I know you have been around for many Seasons. You felt the warmth of Spring and sent forth fragrant blossoms; the hot sun of Summer with warm rains produced apple laden branches; the cooler days of Fall gave us your fruit. Your beautiful blossoms and comforting fragrance were my encouragement to buy the house. I was taken with your purity and beauty.
You then drew upon strength within yourself and your deep roots to weather the bitter cold of Winter—as the deep snow laid around your trunk and, at times, laid heavy on your branches. In the cold you stood tall and accepted the wind and cold and snow.
It was later that Fall, as I was picking the apples, that I recognized you would be there to remind me that after Winter comes Spring and then the fruit of Summer with a harvest in the Fall. Oh, I had been through winter and needed to hold on to the hope of Spring. The next Spring, as I enjoyed seeing the newness of life in your branches, I knew I could look ahead to Fall to harvest your apples.
Each Season gave me comfort and a sense of stability. There were times when people and things would disappoint me and I was unsure of what or who to count on. During those times, pondering life in the hammock and gazing up at you, I was reminded one thing was always constant—the Creator of the tree would never let me down! I could always know what to expect – blossoms in the Spring and apples in the Fall.
I noticed the damage to your trunk and felt a connection to you with my scars. And yet you gave me hope that even with such an outward scar –knowing there were inside scars also – you continued to produce fruit for the deer, birds and my family. You continued to flourish and provide shade and continued to outwardly do well.
Unfortunately, your damage was too severe and you were dying inside. Last Spring there were no blossoms to enjoy but apples were somehow produced in the Fall. I knew they were one last gift. This Spring, there were no blossoms and many of the branches did not even produce leaves. There are very few dwarfed apples. The damage that was suffered was just too great to continue to grow and thrive. You will be taken down tomorrow with any remnant ground out—allowing for something new in your place. I am thankful that my scars are growing smaller and new life and experiences are flourishing!
I will miss you, old friend!
It has been many years since the lesson of The Old Apple Tree and I am still grateful. Some of you may have no idea what this was about and are not able to relate. BUT I suspect some of you will know and feel exactly what I mean!