Yesterday, as Mick and I returned from our morning walk, I was struck by the snowdrift of white crabapple petals along our driveway. Petals fluttered from the tree with every breath of wind, came to rest in the garden and float upon the water in the birdbath. Fallen petals clung to the bottoms of my shoes, sloughed off on the rug in our entryway and curled into tight little balls of damp debris.
Every May, the crabapple flares into a brief display of bright white flowers, then sheds its pretty petals to make way for the crabapples themselves. While the crabapples have their own loveliness and attract birds from all over to feast on their fruit, the flowers’ fleeting beauty impacts us unexpectedly. Yesterday, it made us both sad but for very different reasons. Mick was sad the sweetly-scented flowers don’t last longer than a week. I was sad because the tree’s bloom, coming between Mother’s Day and the school year end, reminded me of our kids and the languorous summer vacation days when we were together more than other times of year.
I still look forward to summer’s slower-paced days, but really miss having our kids at home. Perhaps that is accentuated by pandemic fatigue and months of not-closeness as we maintained social distance. That not-closeness is drawing down now that we are all vaccinated.
The fleeting beauty of crabapple blossoms nudges me to pay attention before they’re gone, reminds me that most things in this world are temporary.
All photos by kcmickelson 2021.