The inspiration for this series began with a death on my farm – a century old wild apple tree had been uprooted in a late winter storm. It was holding on by a few roots, and despite being tipped over onto the ground it persisted in sprouting leaves and a few apple blossoms in the spring. I was surprised by just how much its downfall affected me, almost as if I had lost an old, dear friend. The resilience demonstrated by its persistence in hanging onto life was inspiring to me, and reminded me of our own resilience in dealing with life’s struggles.
There are a few more of these surviving ancient apple trees on our property, most having fallen victim to heart decay, strangulation by bittersweet vines, blight by opportunistic fungi, and slow consumption by predatory organisms like worms and beetles. Yet, they continue to stand like sentinels against life’s challenges.