On a picturesque old farm not far from where I live, grows a very weathered rugged apple tree that one could imagine holds a history of rich tales.  It’s not a form of beauty but one of great strength and character, covered with grayish scabby deeply crevassed bark with lichen clinging to it.  The long gnarly and twisting brittle branches reach out to the sunlight in every direction forming an awkward asymmetrical form.  The wide trunk still supports the heavy weight above its decayed hollowed frame and one wonders how it has energy to still produce red apples each year along with a few hanging leaves.

I peer at it for a length of time picturing the local deer reaching up for an apple; crows robbing its fruit; birds nesting on a branch; squirrels making their frantic runs up and down its trunk; children challenging a climb to its height and building tree houses; shade for those who relaxed under the branches on a hot summer day; and, the happy planting day by the past owner’s dream with anticipation of the pleasurable bite into its first apple

It has survived years of abuse from months of draught, cold wintery and windy weather, invasive bugs and negligence from human maintenance.  Slowly, its long life story will end as each important part of the dry withered tree can no longer endure the elements and lack of nutrients collapses to the ground.