In my backyard stands a tree, a gnarled, twisted, almost bonsai shaped apple tree. Its trunk leans to the far left at almost at a 45 degree angle because of some terrible pruning at some point in its long life. Branches have been randomly cut off at weird angles. Half the time it is diseased and that effects the apples so you never know if you are going to get a good crop or not.
I don’t know how many times over the past 16 years that we have lived here that we have discussed cutting it down. I came close to losing her in the beginning because it was just a plain ugly tree. Then she kind of started to grow on me. The next time came when we had to install a drainage system in the yard. The workers thought that the ditch they had to dig would kill the tree.
But it didn’t.
The tree has been here for over 35 years that I know of and I know this because my son-in-law used to come play at this house with his friends when he was a child and climb in it with his friend who lived here. My grandchildren learned to climb a tree in it. They’ve built tents over branches for mighty forts, just like their dad when he was a child.
It truly is a glorious tree to me now, full of life, hope, tenacity and perseverance. and the years the apples are good -well you can’t buy any better at the market. I’ve made some of my best apple pies from them.
I have hung lanterns and bird feeders and Christmas lights from her branches and she never complains. I don’t know how long apple trees are supposed to live but this one doesn’t look like she’s giving up any time soon.