Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Apricot Tree

Spring used to come in the rush of a day. Now it creeps up on me.

The apricot tree drops most of its bounty to the ground before we can harvest. Those that find the grass are doomed to rot. But the rescued few are sweeter than candy to my only son and I. We vow to be more vigiliant with the peaches, and enjoy a few cobblers. And peaches every day after school. Still, the bounty is always too great, and even as we cumber friends and neighbors with bags of fruit, the majority seek and find the ground--feeding the insect population as we all will.

Our yard is small, but gives more than twice itself in flowers and fruit.

Always the question of Time availing. And always alone alone alone. So much work just to maintain--then only to fall into some template of life that feels like a hug from someone you barely know, who holds on too tightly and too long. Keeping the blood fresh and flowing. Wounded without the pleasure of a scar.

With both wife and child in school, the house is to myself. I fill it with music and thoughts of how to avoid dreaming. But only after the busy work. My mind sharpens to the bittersweetness of the great Whatever--enlivened by the salt in the tears and the sugar in the harvest.
Soon enough the static from the TV could be waves of storm. Swallow everything whole and drown into bed. Kneeling before sleep to thank God for the sweetness of the fruit and the glory of the tree. For the abject joy of being needed by invalids and children. The roof, however humble. The books on my shelves. A delicious new shirt. The astonishing Truth.

There is so much to inspire thanks. Above all--on this latest night of nights--the tender thoughts of friends, falling like apricots.


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