This morning, as I took a morning walk around the yard with my dog (she and I needed to be outside for totally different reasons...), I noticed our lone apricot tree. It's on the northeast corner of our strange-shaped lot, and it's crooked.
I remember hearing a story from about a man who planted a tree in his yard that grew crooked. If I recall the story correctly, he thought he could put a brace up and right the tree, but when he went to do it, even thought the tree did not look that sturdy, he found it did not want to grow the way he wanted. The morale of the story was to take action early in the growing process. Because if we are allowed to bend to the wills of outside influences, we may not grow straight and true.
I understand the lesson and even agree to the points. But something about it bugs me. When I look at my tree, I see something formed by its circumstances. The reason it bends is due to to the incredible east winds we have living on the side of a mountain.
You can't see it in the picture, but the base of the tree is scarred as if it was scratched by an animal, or nibbled away by a deer. It's amazing it's survived, to be honest. When I look at the tree, I see the tree's history. I see strength. I see a will to live, even with the elements seemingly conspiring against it. I see a little bit of myself in it--scarred by life.
I suppose, if I followed the advice of storytellers and arborists, I should take action--should have taken action years ago to make sure the tree has the best chance of surviving. I wonder if it is allowed to mature for years to come, will it tip over? I don't know. Across the street there's an apricot tree that's been there more than fifty-two years, longer than I've been alive. I wonder if our little tree will outlive my family.
Time will tell.