I can still remember the way they tasted. Sweet. Sour. And deliciously crisp. No matter that I had to watch out for the occasional worm. Small and green, with peels a tad on the tough side, they were hands down the best apples I’d ever had.
The old apple tree, standing just a pace or two away from the back porch steps at my grandmother’s house, must have been planted decades earlier. Now gnarled and stooping with age, it was still bearing fruit. That I could simply waltz out to the back yard and pick some of that fruit whenever I pleased never ceased to be a novel experience. It’s not that I’d never seen an apple tree before, or picked apples for that matter. It was the idea that my grandmother had her very own apple tree.
Where we live now, we too have our very own ancient back yard apple tree-gnarled, and stooping as much as my grandmother’s tree did. Though I don’t know what kind of apple tree it is, the apples are just as sweet, just as sour, and just as deliciously crisp. Occasional worms, and peels a tad on the tough side-our apples have those too.
I know new varieties of apple trees come along all the time, in the quest to make a better apple. Granted, some of those apples are pretty good, with their thinner skins, bigger sizes and absence of worms. But our apple tree is like an old familiar friend. Blossoming in the spring, and quietly going about its task of making apples while we go about our own garden tasks of planting and weeding and watering. And when fall starts to creep in, and the garden begins to die back in preparation for winter-leaving us feeling melancholy that another summer is ending, our apple tree beckons us with a sweet promise, just as my grandmother's apple tree beckoned me.
Come have an apple! The best you’ve ever had!