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Saturday, 9 May 2015

THE CHERRY TREE

My earliest memory lingers:
my parents' cherry tree.
Reclining in my push-chair
and gazing up at the crazy patterns of sky:
bright blue patches
between lush green leaves.
Cool shade on hot summer days.
Rich red fruits, like crimson marbles
that I desperately wanted to grasp
but hadn't yet the co-ordination.

Later, playing with friends:
Cowgirls and Indian Squaws,
beneath the huge canopy of that tree
whose shadow now embraced
over half of our lawn.
By then we could reach those rich red delights -
at least those on the lower branches,
so gorged ourselves to our hearts' content...
or until we made ourselves sick -
which we did. Frequently.

I recall my father high up on his ladder,
cherry picker even higher.
Then mother baking cherry pies,
cherry crumble, jam and tarts;
and still having ample fruits to pack
into cardboard punnets to sell
at the end of our drive on Saturday mornings
for a few pence each -
my summer pocket money.

Waking on school holiday mornings
was utterly enchanting,
thanks to that beautiful tree
whose highest branches on stormy days
tapped against my bedroom window panes:
a secret code language between best friends
of different species.
It provided the ideal playground for birds too -
from the minute wren to huge black crow,
they all seemed to adore it as much as I did.
And I loved nothing more
than to fall asleep on windy nights
to the rustling of it's leaves,
knowing I was totally safe
with this giant Guardian just outside.

Then, tragically, it became too huge.
The entire lawn and half of a rose garden
had grown gloomy beneath it's shade.
My mother was cross - she had lost
her favourite sunbathing spot.
So, that spring, my father cut it down.
In it's place, lay a pile of severed limbs -
it hurt as if they were mine -
and it's snow white blossoms filled the air,
rising on the breeze and swirling around me
as if it's noble Spirit had come to say goodbye
before rising to the Other world beyond.
And no one but me seemed to care.
I was completely broken.

Nothing was ever the same after that fateful day.
Bare blue skies of the summers that followed
seemed somehow much duller, joyless and barren,
whilst birdsong took on a decidedly mournful air.
And nights devoid of comforting leaf-murmur
became reminiscent of a lead-sealed tomb.
Even our lawn in sympathy shrivelled
to barren lifeless stalks,
as did my painfully sun burned skin...
without our beloved tree.


41 comments:

  1. What a great memory, well written and thanks a lot for sharing.

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  2. Thank you so much...I truly appreciate that.:)

    Have a Great Weekend! :))

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  3. Absolutely beautiful ! I love cherries!
    Lovely memories!
    xoxo

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  4. Absolutely beautiful ! I love cherries!
    Lovely memories!
    xoxo

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    1. Me too, Gloria...I could eat cherries all summer!
      Thank you so much...
      xoxoxo

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  5. Beautifully written dear Ygraine and such lovely memories that they brought my childhood memories back into my thoughts...I so loved spring and summer when I was a little girl/tomboy :)

    I now have another brand new blog to go along with my Morning Coffee and a Blog...but totally opposite of it :))

    http://cottagecobwebsbycandlelight.blogspot.com/

    Big Hugs and Much Love
    xoxoxo

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    1. Thank you so much, Jan...and so glad you enjoyed this!

      I will check out your new blog shortly...can't wait.:)

      Much Love & hugs xoxoxo

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  6. Wonderful story, so well portraying the joy and loss of a beautiful friend, and the ignorance of those who don’t understand..

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    1. I always regarded trees and other plant life as living beings like myself...but my family members seemed to see them as "dead" things to be disposed of without a second thought...and how it hurt...and still does.
      Many thanks, Anthony.:)

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  7. So beautifully written and from the heart. I too lost a big Oak in our backyard when I was small. I think children and trees have a symbiotic relationship that unfortunately seems to change as we grow older. Your poem makes us want to rekindle that connection!

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    1. I never lost those connections as I grew up...it still hurts immensely when I see trees being felled. Sometimes I wish I had changed...it would be less painful!
      Thank you so much for your kind words, Lori...I really appreciate them.:)

      Have a great week.:))

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  8. I'd break as well under such pressure as this my dear friend.

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    1. Thank you so much for your understanding, my dear friend.
      I can't begin to express how much that means to me...:)

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    1. Thank you, Linda...so much! :)
      xoxoxo

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  10. Such powerful memories! Your first stanza is one to be savoured. Loved the "ripeness" of it.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Sounds sad, I know...but I still mourn that beautiful tree - as you can see!
      Thank you so much.

      Have a great Monday! :)

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  11. Awww! beautiful. And such mixed feelings it created at the end. It was absolutely nice reliving those moments with you.

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    1. Thank you so much for joining me on this excursion into the past...makes the trip much more enjoyable having such great company!

      Have a fabulous week.:))

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  12. Ygraine..wow,what a fantastic journey of this tree.. magical and sad..powerful and sorrowful...my heart sank with you as I read the tree was cut down..I can feel a strong connection to this poem and to your wonderful memories and to your sadness in seeing it be destroyed!.what a beautiful part of your childhood...all the joy and comfort and magic this tree brought to your life. There are so many stories within and lines I loved in this.."the minute wren and crow"..the story of you and your friends eating so much you got ill...the tree tapping on your window etc!! Brilliant writing my friend...this one will say with my heart!!
    hugs
    Victoria

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    1. Oh Victoria...thank you...from the bottom of my heart.
      This is a memory that will remain with me until I leave this world...I so loved that tree...and I know it must sound crazy, but I miss it still!

      Have a wonderful day, dear Kindred...and thank you again for your more than kind words of encouragement.

      Big Hugs xoxoxo

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  13. I am so, so sorry, and you loved it so, part of you...i cry every time I see beautiful trees cut down for nonsense...and i can feel the treasure that it were once upon a child, I AM SO SORRY, my dear Ygraine, I cry with you xoxoxo

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    1. Oh Sweetie...I never wanted to make you cry too...I am probably too emotional at present, due to a major life challenge I am currently facing.
      The memory of that beautiful tree has surfaced due to my emotional state I guess.
      I will try to be a lot more positive...I promise! :)

      Thank you so much for your kind words...they are so appreciated.

      Love & Hugs xoxoxo

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    2. no,no dear Ygraine, I love you as you are, always be yourself, positive, negative you are you, love and hugs xoxoxo in any mood

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  14. En el refranero español, hay uno que dice: "A quién a buen árbol se arrima, buena sombra le cobija", y otro, para el final del pobre árbol: "muerto el perro se acabó la rabia". Para mi, la decisión fue equivocada ya que se podía haber solucionado con una buena poda, y todos contentos; ya que te traía tan bonitos recuerdos.
    Me ha gustado mucho como lo cuentas.
    Un abrazo.

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    1. Oh if only I could have thought of that at the time...but being a child, it never entered my head that I may have had a say in something the adults had decided to do.
      Oh if only I could step into a time-machine and return to save that beautiful tree...

      Thank you so much.:)

      A Hug back.:))

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  15. I so love trees and so feel your loss
    You write so beautifully dear Ygraine

    See you in a month ..I am on break

    Love & hugs
    xoxoox

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    1. Oh thank you so much, dear Margie!

      I have just returned from your blog...but, sadly, I arrived too late to leave a comment.:( So sorry!

      Have a truly magical break.

      Lots of Love & Hugs xoxoxo

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  16. __The missing idols of youth that have passed away, creates such inner sadness. Oh they will return, but never be the same... except to the >new youth< that holds them dear.

    broken tree
    its fruit pit into the earth
    this gift
    _m

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    1. Oh how your way with words never fails to touch my heart, Doug!
      Thank you...so, so much...for your understanding...:)

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  17. Awww beautiful and sad! I felt everything you wrote my friend! Big Hugs ;o)

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    1. Oh thank you so much, Sweetie...these kind words have touched me so deeply...:)

      Have a wonderful day, my dear friend. xoxoxo

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  18. Boa tarde, a árvores faz parte da nossa vida, admiro a sua consciência e no sentimento que tem pelas árvores, também tenho.
    Lindo poema que passa uma bela mensagem.
    AG

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    1. It means so much to me that you understand how I feel, AG.
      Thank you so much...your kind words really touched me.:)

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  19. Sweet memories and feelings near the cherry tree. Your poems are always beautiful, loud and clear.
    Had been long that I could not keep in touch with Ygraine. Hope you are fine. Take care and God Bless You.

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    1. I understand how busy you are, Dumcho...and your kind and encouraging comments are always well worth waiting for.
      Thank you...from my heart!

      Have a truly magical weekend...and Bless You too.:)

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    1. Thank you so much, Boris!

      Do hope you're having a fabulous weekend.:)

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  21. What a beautiful and heartbreaking poem! So sad about your beloved cherry tree. I would never cut it.

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