The tree in the garden is lush with ripe, rosy apples; sparrows claim first peck of the juicy yield. Pruned and nurtured in love, this tree holds a secret, deep in the earth where its roots spread unnoticed.
In post-World War 1 a young lassie, Ada, met up with a lad. Both Sam and Ada’s families were as poor as church mice.
Ada found work in the woollen mill in her home town that was bleak as the wild moors that shrouded it! Sam swept the floors and Ada spun wool. Soon, Sam found the need to sweep Ada’s alley over and again.
The mischievous Cupid was loading his golden arrow!
Ada’s Pa, a proud and foolish man heard tell of a lanky, lovesick youth from the wrong side of town and vowed to stop him right there in his tracks.
As the shift clocked off, he crouched beneath the old humpback bridge by the Chapel. Three nights he waited in vain. On the fourth night, a moment of careless enchantment; the young couple kissed as they stopped by the Chapel to ponder.
“This,” declared Sam “is the place where we’ll marry.” Ada approved with a petal pink blush.
Pa sprang like a feral cat ensnaring its prey. Seizing Sam by the throat, he vowed to mash his brains into pulp if he so much as looked at his daughter again.
“You will keep away until she is eighteen years old.” He spat the words with venom. “Then you will ask MY permission!”
Cupid’s bright flame turned purple with rage. Sam’s commitment to marry his sweetheart in the Chapel by the bridge was now chiselled in stone.
On Ada’s eighteenth birthday Sam steeled his nerves and called at the house. Ada hesitantly asked him inside; Pa promptly propelled him back out! That evening Ada pulled on her coat and slipped outside into the lane lit by gas lamp. She walked through the night to her aunt’s house.
Life was hard! The Great Depression saw men take their lives. But gritty resolve to make Ada his wife carried Sam through.
On a warm July day, Ada and Sam were married in the Chapel by the old humpback bridge. The porch was bedecked with hollyhock, and poppies picked fresh from the hedgerow. Sam scrubbed up well in his borrowed suit that his mother had hand-washed and ironed. An uncle gave Ada away.
The newly wedded couple moved in with the aunt and lived in a room that was cheerless and drab. Sam promised Ada: “One day I’ll build you a bungalow, with a garden where children will play.”
Ever resourceful Sam found work in a wood yard. He laboured long hours and never complained. Ada was thrifty and nothing was wasted. Soon she dared to dream.
In post- World War 2, Sam set to work with the sons they’d produced. One dug foundations, another sawed wood. Sam laid the bricks and Ada looked on; proud yet afraid that the bubble would burst.
The garden was planted with carrots and peas, potatoes and parsnips and one apple tree. The produce was tasty and Sam shared generously with all; but sweetest of fruit were the apples. Each was plucked with tender care, and stored in a drawer for a season.
Sam loved his apples to such a degree that he made an unusual request: “When I pass over, please dig my ashes deep in the soil beneath our tree.”
“Count me in too," Ada chuckled. “Could our apples taste ever sweeter?”
‘Apple Sam’ and Ada were granted their wish and together they lay making compost. Friends find this creepy and others bizarre: “Most folk plant flowers, not people.” They say.
I tell them I walk in a garden of love, with memories of two special people; my parents who strived all their lives yet were ready and happy to share what they had. By example they showed me right values in life, love and self-giving for others.
“Sam was a very fine Christian.” Folk said. But sadly Dad never knew God.
And now, as I muse by the tree, I consider ‘the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of God,’ and remember, ‘His judgements are unsearchable and His ways past finding out.’*
And like my earthly father, I must share in the simple, mundane and ordinary places, amongst regular, commonplace people - like myself; the Father’s love and saving grace, as I commit my life to His leading.
*KJV Romans 11:33
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.