We have seasons of our lives, and they become mile markers for stories of “Remember when...”
••When we moved here, just down the road from our home is a subdivision and at its entrance marks an ornamental apple tree of sorts. When it is in full bloom, in the peak of the summer season our walks take longer because Gus delightfully and selectively picks the ripest mini apples that have fallen from the tree and eats them whole, stem and all. PJ, like any mature, older sister becomes bored and irritated and often she and Jack skip on down the path.
•• I sit in the sun on the sidewalk and wait for him to finish snacking. I’m not kidding when I tell you that this process could take three minutes or it could take 15 minutes. But I have grown to use these minutes as a form of letting go of control and always having such a hurried pace. He searches and snacks and he looks back to me when he’s done and we continue on. When you are busy, you overlook the tiniest of details in your routine. This entire season of my life I have worked and deliberately attempted to be more aware of those moments and not control the timing of the wait, the looks and the continue on.
••Gus is older and slower. Winter time puzzles him because he comes to the tree and finds a few smashed apples that the birds have picked apart and the squirrels have pieced on. He is much like Winnie the Pooh, perplexed at the empty hunny pot. After he is done inspecting the desolate path, he looks back at me and we continue on. I took this picture today in front of our tree because it is a mile-marker for 13 years with these two and in the second picture was from the spring time. So much has changed. Gus went through a massive surgery to remove an almost 6lb tumor from his back right leg this week. This is his second surgery in less than three months. Today when Gus turned and looked back he had such a grin on his furry face. PJ even patiently tolerated his search for apples and she and I sat in a pile of snow while we waited on him.
••We’ve all made it together to another winter season with fewer apples, the bittersweet taste from the past but yet filled with such hope and anticipation of continuing on.