my friend, gerri, owns a house on the corner of 13th and gaylord in denver. the house is divided into two super cute apartments and i stayed in the empty upstairs apartment for a couple of weeks in march so i could show the place to prospective renters. i looked at this tree every morning, and watched it go from totally bare to barely budding. when i came back ten days later, it was like this. full bloom. amazing. life really does just go on.
It is apple season here in Michigan! These are actually just crab apples from a tree near one of the parking lots. Probably more apples on it, when I took it a few years ago, than there will be on the average edible-apple tree this year. Unfortunately, the goofy spring and dry summer meant the apple crops were expected to be low this year. Nothing like good Michigan apples, except maybe good Michigan sweet corn on the cob!
It was the fall of 1987. I was only 8 years old at the time. We had just moved from our Grandparent’s house in Beacon Ave. to a nice little cozy red house in Skyway. We were so excited because it was my family’s first real house. It wasn’t the biggest house in the world but we made it “home”. One great thing about this house was it’s backyard. It was huge. Well, huge at the time because we were tiny kids. It was broken up into two halves. The upper half which was on the same level as the house and a lower half which was furthest away. There were huge trees that separated our house from our neighbor’s. And on the lower level, at the very back, were these two apple trees. These weren’t the typical apple trees that we were used to. My grandparent’s had a huge apple tree in their backyard and they would grow these nice, big, red, juicy apples. But these two trees that we had… they were small trees and they grew tiny apples… oh and they were so sour too. What was also weird was that they were both angled towards eachother. They didn’t grow straight. I remember it was a pain in the ass when our mom made us mow the lawn because we’d have to maneuver our way through their branches and some of their roots that were sticking out from the ground.
As years passed, these apple tree’s branches would get longer and it would just get harder and harder to get around them. So a few years ago, during the winter season, my mom asked me to cut down some of the branches. All we had was a hand saw and some hedge shears. It took forever to cut the branches with that handsaw. I was looking at the apple tree on the right side and it had this 1 thick-ass branch growing upward. I was so exhausted just looking at it, but I came up with a brilliant idea. I told my mom that we should just let that one branch grow. I said something like:
“Mom, you know these small apple trees… they wish they could grow just like the big apple trees. Let’s grant it’s wish and just let that branch grow so it could be as big as those other apple trees. They just want to be like the others”. She wanted to cut them down to size so badly, but after all my hard work, she eventually let me have it my way.
A few years passed and that one branch that we salvaged… it grew. And it just kept growing and growing, taller and taller. It was kind of like the tree knew what was going on and decided to grow as high as it could. During the spring time, it just looked crazy. There two apple trees, one small and the other, small but tall, because of that one massive branch. During the Spring time it would grow these pink blossoms and you would see this long single branch up in the sky with all these little flowers on it. It was a remarkable site. Out of fatigue, laziness, and uniqueness, we ultimately ended up with a pretty “special” apple tree.
During the Christmas of 2006, we had one of the worst storms in Seattle History. It was so windy and rainy and it left millions without power in freezing temperatures. It was nasty. Power lines were down… even trees fell down. My little brother texted me later that night:
“A big tree landed in our backyard."
In my mind, i was thinking "what??” I came over a day after the storm, and saw the tree in my mom’s backyard. It was massive.
That tree actually landed on our “special” apple tree.
My mom was so worried about the mess, she asked that on our days off, if my older brother and I could come over and cut down the tree. She was going to buy a chainsaw. But luckily, government workers came over and chopped down the tree to pieces for free. They said that the tree wasn’t part of her property so they cleaned it up for free. I was so relieved. That was a BIG tree and I was exhausted just of the thought of cutting it down.
The big tree, cut down into firewood.
So I came over and noticed that everything was pretty much cleaned up in the backyard. My mom said: “Mel, we have to cut the apple tree down.” She said it was bent down. The massive tree had pushed it down to the point where both apple trees were now intersecting… by the tall branch that we let grow. It almost looked like they were leaning on each other. That’s when I had a revelation.
“We can’t cut that tree down. Can’t you see mom? Everything was supposed to happen just the way it did. There was a reason why these two apple trees were always angled towards each other. There was a reason why we let that tree branch grow. There was a reason why the storm knocked the tree down over the apple tree. All this time…. these two trees wanted to be … together. They were in love. They were so close, yet so far… and mother nature finally granted their wish. We can’t tear them apart. Not after this.” They finally made it. They were finally together… and in some magical way, holding hands.
Even though my mom was so adamant about cutting down the tree, after my explanation she had a sudden change of heart. First I wanted to grow out that branch, which was weird enough, now this? She looked at me as if i was crazy. But I could see through her expression that she was somewhat touched by my theory, teary-eyed even, and in essence wanted to be part of this greater good. It wasn’t about us anymore. It was about something “bigger than us”. It was about love. So now these two trees will live just the way that they were always meant to… branch to branch, hand to hand… together.
Later, I told one of my friends the story about the two apple trees and he was completely astonished. He asked me if I knew that apple trees represented “love”. I was like “What do you mean?” He replied… “Yeah, every kind of tree represents something different and it just so happens that apple trees represent "love”. I was in complete disbelief. I searched online for more information on apple trees representing love and it brought me to this web page about “Crab Apple Trees”. It read… The Crab Apple Tree or the ‘Tree of Love’ as it was known to the Ancient Celts, have long been associated with love and featured in many ancient traditions of finding future lovers. Then I looked up pictures of crab apple trees and to my surprise, all this time… they were the same exact trees in my mom’s backyard. They were crab apple trees.
So I wanted to share this story with everyone. May it inspire love and serve as a light wind that guides you on your journey towards it.
- There are crab apple trees behind their house & whenever the fruit starts falling off, Lance & Keith always end up having a rotten apple war
- Allura usually has to stop them, but by the time she notices it happening, the both of them are covered in apple sludge
- “Lance started it!” “I don’t care WHO started it! Bath time, NOW.” “But I don’t wanna!”
- Pidge has claim over every piece of sports/outdoor equipment in the garage, you have to ask them permission before you use anything
- Hunk’s & Pidge’s thumbs are so green they’re almost glowing. Coran teaches them how to grow everything from carrots to azaleas to hostas, because of them, the house has the best gardens in the whole neighborhood.
- Lance loves turning the sprinklers on & off, he insists watering the plants is his job & his job alone
- Keith tries to help in the garden, but Lance steals Hunk’s dirt pail & pours the dirt over Keith’s head. It all ends in chaos with a very wet Lance, a very pissed off Pidge & Hunk crying because that dirt was supposed to be for the daffodils!
- Pidge demands to be carried a lot, they’ve learned that Coran is a weakling in the “say no” department, they even get Lance & Hunk to tote them places
- On days they go to the park, Lance & Keith take turns pushing each other on the swings
- If anybody bullies Keith’s family, they’re getting a face-full of fist. As a result, Keith gets in trouble a lot at school, although Lance is usually sitting right next to him in the principal’s office
- Hunk & Lance are school project partners for EVERYTHING
- Shiro is the errand-runner, he makes a big deal out of going to the grocery store so that all the kids end up wanting to go. The kids are surprisingly well behaved whenever they’re at the store, even Keith & Lance.
- All the employees know Shiro, Allura, Coran & the kids, everybody greets them as they walk by