Friday, May 11, 2012

11th May 2012

Yes, here’s an example of ‘never say die’! This evening saw me take the biggest excursion for 3 days as I managed to walk 50 yards down my garden to take this photo. I almost wish I hadn’t when I recognised the serious need of tlc it all needed. Anyway, this is one of my apple trees, the oldest by far, and it was actually recognisably aged when we moved here 33 years ago. Truth be told though, at least from this angle, it doesn’t look much different from all those years ago as it’s still loaded with early blossom; and should frost and wind prove favourable I expect it be heavily laden with fruit, one more time. Back in 1979, though, and for a long time afterwards it was a very different tree. It was actually 3 trees grafted together, producing 1 eating and 2 varieties of cooking apples. All clever stuff. And many years it produced maybe half a ton of fruit which was far more than we could ever use. We baked, then made cider and wine in 5 gallon barrels, and still filled every storage place we could find after giving as many away as we could find a home for. It may have been squirrels or old age, but first one major graft and then another died. I had great fun pruning 12” diameter branches to make the thing safe for a young family. Today I’m left with 1 type of cooking apple and the evidence is that it’s just as vigorous as ever.

Part of me died when I lost Jane. I spent 40 years learning how to live with my wife and though she’s not here to contradict me, I reckon I got good at it. I must have been doing something right for us to stay in love for all that time. Then again so was she! Today the lessons I’ve learned about being a husband can only be of value to the occasional younger husband who inadvertently crosses my path… they’re neither use nor ornament to me anymore. My life is basically fruitless in that branch of my life. It’s died and been lopped off. So that’s why I find my apple tree encouraging, as far as I can see it’s just as healthy, just as fruitful as it ever was. According to it’s original design as a single variety anyway.

But I still wonder if it’s possible to graft another branch to partner it again… that would be fun!

Psalm 1:3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.’ (NIV1984)

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