Everyday Words

Apricot Tree

August 1, 2004

I couldn’t tell you exactly when it was, what I was wearing, why I was there, my exact age (perhaps around 11, I think) or the season. What I can tell you, however, was that until then, I had never seen such a beautiful site.

Trees with such green leaves and such bright fruit and ground that matched. What this all was, I did not know so I asked my father who blankly he told me they were apricot trees which lined the property of the old woman we were visiting. When I asked what one did with apricots, he told me you just ate them, like a peach. He didn’t think anything of it, but I did.

He left me outside while he went in to discuss business with the woman. As soon as he was out of site I ran towards one of the prettiest trees and stood there for a moment – a little unsure, a little excited – and then I reached up on my tiptoes to pick an apricot.

It was love at first bite.

I laid myself down on the ground, surrounded by apricots and stared straight up into the tree, looking at its fruit and sometimes past it to the clear blue sky. I would put my arm out and search blindly for fruit on the ground (there was so many, it was an easy search) and for the next hour I did nothing but eat apricots and in between say, “I love you, I love you” to the tree.

The next thing I remember was my father coming to collect me and waking me up from my surgery slumber. As we walked the long drive back to the car I kept turning around to look at the tree to see if it would wave goodbye. To see if it would miss me as much as I would miss it.

I think it did.

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