|My beautiful friend the Crab Apple Tree.|
Making friends takes me a long time. I am friendly and I like people. I also believe that people like me, but making friends is not something that comes easily for me. In fact, we have been in this town for a little over a year now and I have made a grand total of two friends: the lady who owns the liquor store down the street Miss Busy charmed her our first day in town and the lovely girl I am going to tell you about today. There is also a potential new friend I met today, but that is still to be decided.
So, just at the end of our block lives a very lovely lady. I walked right past her many times through out the late fall and winter with out taking a second glace. I said a customary "hello," but took no special notice. Then spring came and this little lady started to take on some beautiful color that I just couldn't help but comment on. She accepted my compliments quietly at first perhaps more accustom to being overlooked, but eventually begin to respond with a gentle nod or a smile.
As her buds started turning to leaves and her pink blossoms turned into hard green fruits, I grew to love her more and more. I looked forward to our warm greetings as I undertook my daily walk and watched with great interest as she continued to grow more beautiful. I often thought that her progression into summer and fall, laden with zesty little apples, mirrored my own amply pregnant body.
When her fruits were at the peak of ripeness, I could resist no longer. For months I had wanted to deepen our relationship, but had often felt a reserved shyness about her. One beautiful afternoon, just before Mabon, I had to take the next step.
I gently laid my hands on her bark and begin telling her how glad I was to have met her and how much I appreciated all that she had quietly added to my live. She received me which was a relief, I was honestly very nervous that I would frighten her and it almost seemed as if the air around us grew warmer as we spoke.
After a few moments I was moved to ask her if she would allow me to pick a few of her fruits for my altar. She responded with a rush of gratitude, telling me how sorrowful she had been that nobody had appreciated her efforts for many years. Once, long ago she had been appreciated, but now the only ones who took any heed of her dainty little apples were the squirrels and birds and even they seemed to prefer the offerings in the nearby bird feeder. By this point Miss Busy was getting antsy in her stroller. I wrapped my arms around her scarred trunk and held her for a few moments before taking all of the fruit I could carry.
Back at the house, I arranged the offering of fruit on the altar. Having an abundance of the tart little fruits, I also set a few in the fruit basket for munching. Crab apples are tart and drying, but I ate each of these little treasure with relish. I found such joy in knowing that I had not only been given a gift, but at the same time had been able to give one in return. Since that time I stop to chat nearly everyday and returned to take some photographs. She absolutely adored the photo session.
***When I started writing this yesterday, it was before our afternoon walk. During our walk, an exciting event unfolded. As we approached this dear friend, Miss Busy begin yelling excitedly and waving. When we stopped under her now golden boughs, my little girl reached up lovingly as if to embrace her. I pushed the stroller up close to her trunk and Miss Busy stroked her bark, jabbering excitedly for several minutes. It is beginning to get colder and the breaks in our walk are kept shorter, but this was an experience I would not have missed for the world.