Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Small Gifts

I remember trees.

I remember the three fruitless mulberries I used to climb with a book in one hand. I remember making my way around the top branches as they bent beneath my weight.  Finding the just the right perch to sit and escape for hours.

I remember the cherry plum tree. It was another tree for climbing, but not a place for reading. The reward of this ascent was the sticky sweet fruit, small as a cherry, flavor of a plum. Eating fruit, spitting seeds, sharing with the birds. Until they cut the tree down to expand the driveway.

I remember the apricot tree. It wasn't our tree. It was part of Mr. Parr's perfect yard. His yard was an oasis of order and beauty. Fragrant roses lined every wall. Flowers bloomed in season without fail. But his prize was the apricot tree in his backyard. It only bore fruit on alternate years, but when it did, it was a bountiful harvest. Branches heavy with gold hung over our fence. Mr. Parr allowed those branches to grow, his quiet gift to us, granting permission to eat any of the fruit that shadowed our yard.  Warm from the sun, fleshy, and sweet.

            "You must not eat them all."

            "We must make cobbler."

            "We must make jam."

            "We must turn them into something else."



Each one is perfect as it is.

                        Warm from the sun.

                                    Sweet and fleshy.

                                                Fully ripe.


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