ON PRINCIPAL, I avoid pure red or green apples. I love the red-oranged, and pink-toned fruits with dense meat and sweet taste. Today, 13 grandmother apple trees offer me low hanging fruits. From the branch bending nearest, I pluck an apple, and respectively bite into it. I stand in their circle, sheltered from the bright sun, and dazzled by shadow and light sparkling at my feet. Suddenly, a story told to me by my maternal grandmother comes to mind.
She said the tree was as full as it was gnarly with deep roots drinking unseen waters. “I realized an Octopus lived under the ground,” she said, “when I noticed roots poking out of the soil and weaving themselves among the root systems of other trees!” She described its bushy head as wide, high, and filled with different birds and insects. “That darn tree opened a hole in itself so that four-leggeds could live there.”
She said she would nap, during summer afternoons, between the trees exposed roots and dream of people and things she read about or once knew is nd – later – would draw on paper. I still have one of her sketches of a black squirrel perched in a tree with cheeks full of nuts, to be hidden in her den before Autumn leaves fall and winter blows cold.
Her daughter – my mother – kept stories hidden. She sheltered inside our house and only smiled around us kids. After the last of us left home, she said she had done her job and died – just three months after my grandmother passed.
I am pleased they are together. I await her wisdom surrounded by 13 grandmother trees, rooted together with an octopus, and protecting four-leggeds inside them. Right now, my job is to stand surrounded by the things I love, protected by roots and trees and fruits. Do stories only come from my maternal line? Perhaps they come from everything.
Because the Corona Virus is a terrible gift, it is a treasure. St. Corona is known as the Saint of Treasures. While she is not associated with pandemic cures, the world now thinks of her that way. I like to think the cause is the peoples’ innate understanding of how finding middle ground at the juncture of opposites is a gold mine. St. Christopher also was known as the Saint of Treasures; later, that changed, and he resurrected into the Patron Saint of Travelers.
Now, stand in the center of the 13 Grandmother apple trees. Call forth treasures from St. Corona and Saint Christopher. As you travel through isolation, let the second Saint go with you. How will you use this time?
To re-write the narrative of your own story, more authentically representing yourself; or, perhaps you will sketch images of your helper guardians, adding watercolors or acrylics to enliven their forms? Maybe camera shots of the tiniest things can better bring your world into focus. How can you creatively help others out of despair and hopelessness?
Remember to make BEAUTY AND PLEASURE your path companions.