Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 29 – Them apples

I'm captivated by this apple tree. It's in the front yard of one of the best-kept houses on my street, and this is the first year that I remember its boughs being so heavily laden with fruit. It makes me think of my granddad's backyard, and Niagara's orchards, and autumn road trips in the Annapolis Valley. I don't know what they do with the apples. I do know that they have a marmalade cat who keeps watch over the tree from the front porch.

Seven months ago, walking around in the early evening after the worst of the ice storm, I saw this tree, bent down to the ground under layers of ice. I felt that I should be afraid for it – the street was littered with branches and debris from trees that hadn't weathered the storm – but it was too beautiful. It gleamed, a beacon in the night. The street was silent but for the distant sounds of ice sliding off buildings and breaking on the sidewalks and I stood and looked for a few long minutes as the night cooled down and the mist gathered. Everything was dripping. Everything was dark.

After that winter, spring was a revelation and so too was this tree, a riot of blossoms. Then the rains came, and the sidewalk was covered in trodden, soggy petals. Then nothing but leaves, for the longest time. And now fruit. If you walk by at the right time of the afternoon, the slanting sun hits the branches just right and the apples fairly glow.

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