The Birthday Tree

loveliest of trees

That's How The Light Gets In

There was a cherry tree in the front garden of the house in Cheshire where I grew up.  Every year in spring, when the delicate white blossom would appear suddenly, as if snow had fallen overnight, I would sense that brighter, longer days were on the way. It later succumbed to poisoning from a poorly sealed-off gas mains.

The birthday tree 2 The birthday tree: pictured shortly after our daughter’s birth day

Later, after university and marriage, when we moved into our first house – which may now be our only house – there was a cherry tree that blossomed every April to coincide with our daughter’s birthday, with the consequence that it soon acquired the appellation in our household as ‘the birthday tree’.

The birthday tree The birthday tree a few springs later

In my memory it seems that as the child moved round the seasons, every April birthday was celebrated under that tree – the dining table pulled out onto the lawn, a bunch of over-excited…

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