My escape lay at the bottom of the garden. A concrete path, narrow as the wheels of my trike, led through the vegetable patch to this Eden. Here I would pedal whenever I was sad, or happy.
The tree beckoned in spring with white petals and pink flowers, tinged with yellow, like miniature stars twinkling in the sun. I would stare, mesmerised by the humming of bees seeking their nectar.
The years passed, and, like the tree, I grew. Old enough to climb the tree that had been my haven for so long. Shinning up the trunk, I perched on the silvery branches, observing the house on the horizon. At the right time of year, when the blossoms had matured into fruit, I picked an apple, or two, savouring the still-bitter taste.
The taller I grew, the smaller the tree seemed to become, and the less important it was for me to climb it. But I always visited its umbrella, protecting me from the sun, pacifying me with the gentle swish of its leaves. I think of this tree even now when I’m stressed, and even now find peace in its memory.