I’ve been doing pretty well packing up the old house — except not fast enough — and deciding on flooring and paint colors for the new house. But on Easter Sunday, I stepped out into my tiny backyard to take a picture of my crab apple tree, and the impact of change really hit me.
I will be leaving this tree behind. Isn’t it beautiful? As trees go, it lacks the graceful shape so desirable in small ornamental trees (and no amount of judicious pruning has really rectified that problem), but its blooms are exactly the delicate shade of pink that I sought. When it’s in full bloom, as it is right now, it lifts my spirits each time I gaze at it. It reminds me of a splendid crab apple that used to grow outside my office window at the university. Back then, I worked on the second floor, so every April I was on the same level as that lavish canopy of pale pink blooms. Walking into my office and seeing such beauty was like receiving a special gift. I would snag people in the hallway and push them into my office to look. It was fun to watch them blink and catch their breath. (Those that didn’t were to be pitied.) The tree was old, and eventually — despite several “save-the-tree” campaigns — the landscaping people cut it down. So I searched for years to find a similar one to plant in my yard. It’s called Sugar Tyme (malus sutyzam), and I love it. I’m going to miss it a lot.
In the new backyard there’s a tiny tree skeleton ringed by landscaping stones. I think it’s dead. I sort of hope so, because then I can yank it out and plant a new Sugar Tyme in its place. I am finding these days that I want every aspect of my new home to lift my spirits. I don’t want bland neutrals that depress me when I get home from my day job. I don’t want stiff, unimaginative, easy-maintenance landscaping with shaggy junipers and horrid little nandinas. From the fresh coat of aqua paint in the garage to the rose-filled flower beds in the back, I want some zing. I want joy. I want happiness creators.
First setback: my local Lowe’s doesn’t have Sugar Tyme this year. According to the Internet, Sugar Tyme is one of the best of the crab apples so I’m sure I can find it somewhere. But it will take time and effort to track it down.
As Winnie the Pooh would say, “Oh, bother.”
Still, bother is worthwhile sometimes, especially if it means keeping Sugar Tyme in my life. I’m determined to create a new home of joy and delight, no matter how hard I have to work to make it so.