I never watched the tree in my backyard as closely as I have these trying months. I watched as it exploded into a flourish of pale pink blossoms and then it oxidized into burnt umber. A month ago, I found apples gleaming between the juniper leaves. I am comforted when I see that this tree evolves through the seasons but still stands tall.
Every year, it survives the temperamental weather of my city. It bends to the howling winds of the winter, yet never snaps. The summer comes with bluish rains and ominous lightning. At one point, a colony of beetles infested the trees and ate them from the inside out. Despite all of this, I smell the honeyed scent of apple blossoms in the spring and see the branches drip with gleaming apples in the fall.
I strive to be like this. I want to soldier through the thick and thin. I want to bend, but never snap. I want to weather the storms and come out thriving. And at the end of it all, I want to create something of beauty like the apples of a tree.
For about two weeks every spring, the tree will convert from a mass of juvenile green leaves to a riot of blossoms. I have never seen anything as beautiful as those blossoms. The rounded petals are a soft pink in the center but gradually fade to a linen white. The petals surround the delicate, dark yellow stigmas at the center. These blossoms emit a sweet scent that drenches the spring air. It is my favorite time of the year.
These blossoms fade after two weeks. They are gradually sloughed away by tempestuous winds and heavy rains. The flowers fray and break off, blown to the wind. I used to see those flowers leave with a sigh. Now, I understand that those flowers had to go. I think all humans feel brief moments of joy that wash away the less stellar moments of life. That happiness eventually leaves, blown away by the winds of life. As painful as it can be, I think having the flowers leave makes it all the more special when they come back again.
I am sometimes mired in the present. Sometimes I see what I have and feel as though I need more. Why is my life not full of the airy blossoms of joy or the hefty apples of great knowledge? As I grow with my tree, I start to realize that I should emulate nature: everything comes with time. There is a time and place for everything. Perhaps I don’t experience the sweet feeling of joy now, but it will come.
I am confronted by challenges on a regular basis. But every time I feel myself give into the doubts, I look to my tree, standing tall against the deep blue sky. I remember that life is a continuous cycle and that I can’t be mired in the details. I am like the tree, something that will be blasted by the winds of life and drenched in the troubles of time. But I will still grow, my hands stretching out to touch the deep depths of the sky.
So I continue on, a sliver of hope in my heart.
The Tree in My Backyard
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