>> Friday, April 16, 2010 – joy
I used to climb trees. Apple trees, to be exact. My parents' house bordered an apple orchard, and we had three or four old, craggy crab apple trees in our backyard. The apples were inedible – tiny, yellow-green and rock-hard, worm-eaten, mouth-puckering sour if you dared take a bite. But I wasn't interested in the apples anyway. I was in it for the climbing.
I had my favorite – the tree on the edge of Mrs. Fellow's lawn. It was the sturdiest, with broad, knobby limbs that hung over the lawn; gnarled hollows rounded by birds, perfect for storing a thermos of orange juice and a baggie of Keebler chocolate-covered grahams; a trunk that fit the small of my back snug.
When tightly furled, the apple blossom buds shone fuschia pink, a delicate firework dangling from each branch. Later they softened to white upon opening, just a hint of champagne blush still visible on petals. Come mid-May, the trees burst with white blossoms, their fragrance light and fresh like Love's Baby Soft. When the breeze blew, petals drifted like wedding confetti onto the lawn, springy snow.
The blooms shielded me from the world as I sat for hours in my tree, paging book after book – Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh; The Borrowers Afloat; Island of the Blue Dolphins; Misty of Chincoteague. Honeybees hummed and burrowed into blossoms, while giant, furry bumblebees flew drunkenly past my ear, legs coated heavy and yellow with pollen.
I spied on the neighbors behind that perfumed shield. The Fellows boy, lanky-legged, shooting baskets, bang off the backboard. Mr. Walsh, grilling burgers, beer in hand. Mrs. Kessler inching toward the mailbox, housecoat snapping in the wind, dog yapping in the bay window.
Days moved more slowly back then, when all that lay before me was a good read on a firm perch, the scent of spring a light blanket all around.
I'm sharing memories of spring with Jo at Mylestones today.