During the fall harvest, I overlooked this little apple on the dwarf tree in front of our house. With a backdrop of Christmas garland, it's been recast by the winter storm as a reddish brown ornament, adorned with a white, sliding cap of new-fallen snow.
The snow changes scenes around our house and garden in surprising ways. Some such transformations are dramatic, like when a gray, sleeping garden bed emerges in the morning as a white, gently covered platform of drifting, rolling mounds of glistening powder.
One can further enrich the winter scene with a lens tinted by family memories. The nuances then multiply. We moved into this house 12 years ago: that means 12 winters, 12 Christmases, and 12 harvests.
With three children living elsewhere, and one home for winter break, the activity level after a winter storm has diminished around our place in comparison to what it had been some years ago. I remember pulling a little one on a pink sled over bumpy sidewalks on the way to a nearby hill. I recall snowball fights with kids and their friends seeking the limited cover afforded by hopelessly separate spindles on the porch. I reminisce about deep footprints from small boots upsetting the calm smoothness of a wintry blanket.
This diminutive, tough-skinned friend hanging in the cold on a barren branch has adjusted admirably to its wintry circumstances. It contributes its distinctive shape and shade to the scene. It evokes memories of the summer, and hints at a spring that will emerge soon enough.
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