The Apple Tree
I'm sitting contently at the base of my favorite apple tree in pure bliss, my back leaned up against the trunk made wise with years. My toes curiously sift through the new, fresh grass as it tickles my feel like soft feathers. It slides through my toes without friction like silk on my skin.
The grooves of the weathered bark under my exploring fingers spiral like a labyrinth, twining in unexpected turns and twists. The scrapes gently at my hands like sandpaper, and caresses my smooth, orthodox hands with its rough skin weathered by the elements. My assiduous mind puzzles over just how many Christmases, Easters and Thanksgivings this monument of my backyard has seen gone by.
It's not by any means soundless as I laze in my own personal paradise. Numerous sounds grace my ears, but none are unwelcome as everything I hear feels right, somehow. Everything has its place here. Everything has a role to play, and every role is played perfectly in the tree's own form of organized chaos. As my ears stretch to listen, I hear the hushed voices of the birds, chirp-chirping from somewhere above. Their melodic songs mingle with the harsher cries of the other animals, hidden away in their nooks and crannies of the tree. The knowledge of what lurks above me escapes my knowledge, but that only adds to my intrigue. The mystery of the unknown, lurking from somewhere above me only adds to my fascination of the admirable plant. Pesky insects buzz in my sensitive ears in a low protest of the afternoon heat. Their complaints float around me, a low hum of electricity.
I detect the fresh, natural scent of the newly mowed grass, its welcome odour drifting into my nose. I smell the musky, aged balm of wood, reminding me of my days braving the wilderness to camp by the lake. Above all, the clean, inviting scent of the endless outdoors. Nothing desecrated like the foul, poisoned air of the busy city that's unwilling to notice their fallacious effects on the withering environment.
I gaze above my head with my analytical eyes, and scan up the towering fortress of nature. My eyes scour up to the top, and to their pleasure I behold the immense canopy of lush, flourishing leaves suspended by spindly branches. These brittle twigs make up the skeleton of the tree, so comparable to the bones that crisscross through my own body. Light filters down between the leaves, sun rays lining my vision, momentarily blinding me. The powerful sun, magnificent in its daily rule enlightens me to a whole new and fantastic world of rich and vibrant colors that had escaped my gawking gaze. Although the tree has doubtlessly matured into an elderly ghost of its youthful self, there's meager doubt that it still rises with a certain majesty and power.
The forest green leaves twinkle in the blindingly beautiful sun like sparkling stars in the everlasting night sky. Symmetry is absent in the structures of the leaves. Although they grew in the same family, no two are identical. Every unique leaf has its own set of winding veins, not unlike those that flow through my hands.
Dependable roots snake their way underground, providing nourishment. What would the tree do without them? How would it cope? Without the faithful roots, the unmitigated tree would shrivel and perish, like the deadened leaves that float to the ground before winter arrives. Trustworthy roots are what guided my choice apple tree from seed, to sapling, to sophisticated.
Experiencing the gentle growling and rumbling of my famished stomach, I stretch my familiar, freckled arm up and pluck a full, ripe apple off of a low-hanging branch. I hear the soft, protesting snap of the ruptured stem as it breaks away. I look at my chosen fruit, the apple ablaze with a fierce color of fiery red, before I sink my teeth through the paper-thin skin and my jubilant mouth explodes with flavour. As my mirthful molars crush the succulent apple, a dribble of juice drips down, itching my chin. I sponge it away with the cuff of my sleeve. As my snack slides down my throat, I know pure bliss.