a visit from me.
Or maybe it doesn’t.
It isn’t really my orchard, but my father’s, and his father’s before him.
Maybe it doesn’t need me nearly as much as I need it.
It is lying, quiet and serene beneath the mountain peak, on a little flat on top of a rise. It is perfectly happy to be there, in the cold, soaking up the rain and snow that will make for succulent, sweet, juicy red apples in the summer.
The gnarled trees will stand, stalwart and solemn through the worst that Winter can bring without ever missing my presence or needing me among their barren branches.
They take no glory for the music the wind makes as it weaves and wanders through their wonderfully crooked branches.
They accept no praise for the beauty they exude as they stand firm against a gray, snow-laden sky.
They refuse thanks for the fragile seeds of the fruits they protect through the bitterness of cold nights so that when the times comes, they can say come, eat of me, for I am sweeter than nectar.
They entice the bees and butterflies from their hiding places so that they, too, can partake of the bounty.
I imagine if God had a taste, He would taste like the sweet apples born from the mountain orchard that waited silently through the harsh winter.
They stand and they wait and they will live.
They have no idea how much I need them.
Laying on the brown grass of winter looking up through their branches and knowing that I, for this moment, am part of what grows beneath the earth.
No, it has no need for me or anything that I can offer, but part of my sanity, my strength, my well-being comes from what the orchard gets from God and passes on, without ever being aware, to me.
I suppose, because I love it so, it is my orchard, after all.