I don’t know how long the apple orchard has been there. The trees are mature, reaching as high as apple trees can. Let’s say I was ten when it was planted. That would mean the orchard is almost 40 years old.
Forty years is a while. It is enough time to draw in a lot of rain and oxygen, and to push your roots into the places where the nutrients are richest. In forty years, you get the hang of how, just when it seemed apple season would last forever, winter sweeps in. In forty years, even when winter has absorbed every last sign of life, you don’t forget that spring is someday in the future.
Eventually, though, it happens that the seasons turn and spring overwhelms you. You didn’t remember it was so soft, or vulnerable. Spring is discovered as if it never existed, like the surprise you feel when you find a place which has been waiting, on the edge of the orchard, to enfold you in momentary petals.