It all comes around again. The blue orchard miner bees depositing their eggs in the cedar houses, the return of the violet-green swallows, a tree frog on the deck where our hot-tub sits. I have tomatoes waiting to be planted in tubs on the second-story deck, honeysuckle to coax through the supports on the pergola built as an entrance to the vegetable garden, and paper wasps to brush out of the house when I find them trying to build inside.
We were away yesterday, up at 4 a.m. so that I could make a mid-morning appointment with a hematologist in Vancouver. We drove through Stanley Park, past big clumps of bleeding heart in full bloom, and I wondered if it might be a good omen (blood doctor, after all!) or, yikes, something worse. I wondered if the appointment might lead to more tests, more appointments, a life of caution and pills. But no! Reviewing my file with its numbers and scans and images of my body, listening to my lungs, asking a hundred very precise questions (and wasn’t I glad I’d brought careful notes about dates, symptoms, etc.), he said that he recommended I come off the medication I’ve been taking and that I could consider myself no longer at risk. Was it my imagination or was that when the sun came out yesterday? Because it was dark when we left home, and cloudy as we found parking, walked to the high tower where the hematologist practiced his occult art.
And now, this morning, I’ve been looking through Euclid’s Orchard to choose passages to read at the Gibsons Library tomorrow (at 6! Please come if you’re on the Sunshine Coast!) and I suddenly wondered if the stray apple was in blossom yet. It grows out of rock just in front the deck leading off our kitchen.
Blossoms ignite on the long, unpruned branches of the stray apple. The bees are in heaven, their faces buried in the open flowers, rising on legs heavy with pollen to find another, and another. Nearby a sapsucker tests the cotoneaster where the young are brought, year after year, to learn to feed on insects their parents have trapped in pools of sap. Leaning over the railings,I try to see the pattern of the leaves on their stems, because it’s a wonder the tree is where it is, rooted in a cleft of rock, its branches nudging into light. It’s a wonder, how far children travel from a house buffeted by winter storms, spring rain, the sound of loons nesting summer after summer on the lake just below the forest, and for a time, the promise of fruit from trees planted in their infancy until the orchard was abandoned to the alders and bears, and to the late-coming coyotes who made their home in its remains.
And yes, the blossoms are ready to open.