The cherry tree was at its peak with blooms a few days ago, and now the ground is littered with pink confetti petals. I planted this tree over nine years ago, its trunk was the size of my forearm, and it stood a few inches over my head. As I dug the hole, my husband told me I was planting it too close to the sweet gum tree, but I wanted to create privacy in our backyard, and I wanted instant results. I did not know at that time that I would create a garden under the canopy and it would grow into what has become my sanctuary.
It is amusing how when you plant something with one intention and its purpose changes over the years. Today the tree is an anchor in my ever growing garden, and each year it announces the arrival of spring. It is my seasonal clock, telling me to get busy with the garden activities. I buy potting soil, I put up my small greenhouse, and I plant seeds. I also clean out the beds and dream of what I will be planting where.
This morning I kneel under the tree on a pink carpet, and I pull the weeds from around its base; a root as big as my forearm peeks out from the ground, the size of its trunk when I brought it home. How time has flown and how the landscape has changed. I have learned many lessons here, I have learned how to garden, how to photograph and how to write, just to name a few. I have planted many good memories in this garden and watered the ground with my tears. It is amazing what has grown in this soil.
The clouds have moved in, and it looks like rain. I stand up from my chore and gaze one last time into the canopy. A chickadee roosts high in the branches, finding shelter from the oncoming storm. A gust of wind sends the bird swaying, and like a snow-globe turned upside down, pink blossoms swirl around it. The bird continues to cling to its branch, unconcerned by the wind or the pending storm.
As the pink petals rain down, I realize the tree will be bare of its showy attire very soon. The leaves will appear, and tiny cherries will form – and in a few weeks, it will look like a different tree. This storm will accelerate the transformation, as all hardships do and the next stage will begin. The tree needs the storm to loosen its blooms, and so it may bear fruit.