High winds last month sent one giant limb of the old apple tree in my mother's yard crashing to the ground. I gasped when I first saw the tree transformed. The shady spot beneath the canopy, where I spent countless summer afternoons laying down blankets to host tea parties for my china dolls, now completely swallowed in a web of branches. There was no repair possible, just tragic.
Little Smith headed to the tree as soon as he was turned loose. He grabbed the small pail that my mother had set by the wood pile, instinctively knowing it was intended for him. Following the trail of apples scattered across the grass, he made his way to the tree and ducked beneath the cave of fruit studded branches. I could barely see him hidden in the leaves, but I heard the apples hit the bucket as the fallen limb wiggled and shook. A fort of low lying snacks, the tree's injury supplied days of toddler delight.
Change. The challenges and blessings that accompany change have been a repeating theme for me this year. It seems I'm constantly learning, resisting, accepting, and growing, even in the safety of my own backyard.