Some time ago, the woman (I assume it must have been a woman, of course) who lived on this farm planted three apple trees along the fence line. Who knows how long ago. Twenty, thirty years, maybe? The house was unlivable by the time we came along. Jon tore it down, but not before she and her husband happened to drive down the long road up to it one evening. She asked if she could save the front door, which her father had hung years ago, to take with her. Jon said yes.
So now the only thing that remains of her are these flowering trees, which are among the first hopeful things to bloom in the spring. We had a surge of warm weather about a month ago and everything that could flower and bloom–the white pear, the red bud, the daffodils–lifted their bright faces from the shadows.
But then an unexpected frost hit and knocked the blooms off the weaker trees, including two of the three of these women’s plantings. One remains, the one bright spot in the yard, like a globe adorned with lace.Once the fruit comes later in the year, the deer will come and rise up onto their hind legs to pluck the sweetest apples from the branches.
To be honest, these apple trees aren’t particularly beautiful. They’re short and squat, “kind of stupid looking,” as Jon puts it because they seem so thoughtlessly placed, and they’re hard to mow around. But I fight a gentle fight to keep them by avoiding conversation altogether, and they’re still there.
Women have to stick together, after all.