How strange is the old apple tree! It becomes magically transformed in the spring. I tell you this is not the same tree it was only a month ago. It has gone from looking like a bare, twisted, and tortured ghost to an angel weeping gentle flowers to the ground; from gnarled, crooked, bent hands to sweetly scented tresses brushing the meadow with every tiny breeze. Can there be anything as beautiful as an old apple tree in the springtime?
But have you seen it in the winter? Have you seen the sneering, imposing, horrific figure from the side of the road? On a cold and dark night, you can imagine it uprooting and following you, attempting to steal your soul. When you look at an apple tree in the winter, you see the epitome of death. But then . . . lo! The spring comes. What was dead is alive again. What was old is new again. What was terrible is divine.
|The old apple tree in her new party dress.|
The bees hum busily around her now, jumping from flower to flower, reveling in the sweetness. She calls to us lazily from the road, “Come and play with me!” Our minds drift back to the days of childhood, running among the apple blossoms. Then the searing sun follows the spring, interspersed with heavy rainstorms, and all along the old apple tree swells and grows. Finally, fall comes and the beautiful red fruit, so sweet and delicious, entices us yet again. It is the old temptation. It has never gone away. So we eat the sumptuous fruit of the magical old apple tree.
And we forget. Then comes the winter--again--and the cycle repeats, and the terrible gnarled tree returns once more, hissing at us from the road, daring us to come closer. We can almost imagine the unsuspecting passersby who have been swallowed whole by the tree. We try not to look at it anymore because it is dead. Or so it seems.