I followed a link at Freshly Pressed today and read this delightful tribute to apple trees:
I started to write a little comment about my own apple tree, but … as so often happens when I get talking … it turned into an essay! So I got thinking how our tree is coming into bloom again and how much my PoliNation buds love garden-related blogs, so here goes …
In 1984, my little family moved into our first and only “us and the bank owns it” house. It’s just a ranchburger in a 70’s development, but it’s ours, so we love it. Moving was traumatic. And hot. I was sick and struggling with learning new streets, getting utilities hooked up, and figuring out where the foods we liked lived in a new grocery store while caring for our then 3- and 1-year-old daughters.
One unbelievably hot Hot HOT August day, the three of us arrived home after running errands, cranky and sticking to our car seats with our own gooey sweat. I turned off the engine, sighed and began trying to gather the energy to begin the long, arduous process of moving us and our numerous bags inside. Much as I longed to put my feet up and sip a cool drink, the putting away of purchases and cooking of dinner and changing of diapers were not going to wait.
Then I saw it. A real tree was sitting on our porch. I got out of the car to inspect. The tag said “Dwarf Empire Apple.” The card said, “Happy Housewarming! Peter and Nancy.” Can you imagine what that meant to me, at that extra arduous moment on that extra difficult day, to be celebrated with something alive and fruitful that would grow up with my girls in our new front yard? It still gives me goosebumps and makes me tear right up.
We planted it smack in the middle of that yard and have nurtured and enjoyed it all year, every one of the 28 years since. One spring, it came into full, glorious bloom – one of its best flowering years ever – ON my birthday. I felt like God had sent me an apple-scented birthday-gram.
I remember in the summer of 1985, scooting around on my bum to weed and feed our baby tree, much too pregnant to kneel in the traditional gardening position. Daughter #3 arrived that June, the same month her Daddy finally completed his 17-years-long journey from high school to college graduate.
My girls are grown, married and starting families of their own. Dearest and I have some white hairs and wrinkles and our tree (raised organically) is very much full grown. The girls swear that they just cannot find apple sauce anywhere that tastes as good as what we made from our tree. We didn’t do anything special, just boiled down the apple into mush. The apples are just naturally sweet and delicious.
One of my favorite things about spring is when I can stand under our tree while she is in bloom. I just close my eyes and breathe. There is a tradition among Catholics that some of God’s Saints have smelled of roses, even after they have died. The aroma is sometimes referred to as the odor of sanctity. Saints may smell like roses, but in my humble opinion, Heaven itself smells like apple blossoms.