All the love you will ever feel
you have always carried within you
The pellet you think love is
blooms into stone,
into flame, into glass
The tree knows
how to feed every part of itself
When you tap the tree
to drink it
it speaks to you
There is sweetness in you
All the self can do
~Hannah Stephenson from “Sap Season”
The last remaining cherry tree on this farm, a Royal Anne, has stood between house and barn for over ninety years, bearing heavily some years, and other years, like this one, yielding only a handful of fruit. Last year was a bumper crop followed by a hot dry summer and a bitter cold winter. The old tree was overly stressed, its branch joints and bark defects oozing miniature sculptures of resin in response.
These secretions feel hard and seem glass-like, yet reflecting this tree’s slow internal circulation, they change subtly day by day. This amber becomes this tree’s aging and suffering made manifest. Though its cherries burst with juicy flavor, it bleeds crystalline flame from its wounds.
What a gift is this leaking love, moving deep inside an old trunk. In its thirsty anguish, our dear cherry tree is weeping to reflect the sun.
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