I fancied I could build a table around the sturdiest part of the tree's trunk, and then sip apple juice (because let's be realistic, folks; back then tea was dis.gusting) surrounded by walls of pink blossoms.
But I never found the perfect tree, and my apple juice tea party remained a sparkling figment of my imagination. Eventually, all that imaginative blossom-y magic multiplied and swelled, until it spilled out of my imagination and into my wide ruled notebook in the form of a short story.
In the story, a sly wizard turns a girl, about the age of nine, into a dandelion seed.
The wind blows the girl-turned-dandelion-seed far away to a distant land before the spell is lifted and the seed becomes a girl again, mid-flight. Surprised (to say the least), she falls from the sky and lands in a tree laden with blue apples.
Wide-eyed with curiosity, she plucks one of the plump blue apples and takes a juicy bite. It tastes like cotton candy. Minutes later she shimmies down the tree and discovers she is in an orchard of apple trees, each growing apples of a different color and remarkable flavor.
Somehow — and I can't remember how — the girl is discovered by fairies who take her to their house, the Babbling Blossom Tree, where they sit and sip tea surrounded by thick walls of pink blossoms.
I can't help but remember that story with fondness when I visit the Pacific Northwest during spring, as I have this week. Everywhere the trees are wearing their Easter finery while the birds look on and sing with approval. This place is magical.
I'm on spring break, so I've decided to rest up at my folks' house for the week. When I arrived last weekend, Spring had rolled out a pink carpet to welcome Easter,
|Photo credit for this goes to my pops|
One of my favorite Washington activities is taking long walks through the verdant, blossom-bedecked countryside. It's the best way to try to drink in every ounce of spring.
One of our many Easter gifts this year was clear skies and sun — perfect walking weather. So we donned our walking shoes and hit the trail.
This is my new favorite selfie. My sister is the one holding the camera. Doesn't she have the most vivacious smile? I'm next to our honorary sister, Annie. We've known each other since we were little tykes:
|Annie, me, and my brother, Aaron|
My mom is next to Annie, looking beautiful and full of life. And next to my mom is our new friend, Eileen. Eileen and I met on the plane Saturday night, on our way up to Vancouver from LAX. She lives in Singapore, and made the long trek to Vancouver for work. It was her first trip to the Pacific Northwest.
Eileen joined us for church and Easter lunch before we gave her a tour of our Washington spring. She is a lovely person and was a delightful addition to the festivities.
Since Easter, I have been plowing through grading [very slowly]. Actually, I've mostly been lying in an enormous pile of grading whilst staring blankly at the ceiling and occasionally twitching. All this grading has necessitated a number of breaks, during which I've time with friends and family. It's been the very best kind of lovely.
And it just keeps getting lovelier. Right now, the rain is thrumming across the window panes, there's a fire dancing in the fireplace, and I have a steaming cuppa tea to my right and a pile of books at my fingertips. Everyone should take a trip to the Pacific Northwest to celebrate spring. It'll do a soul loads of good.
Photos taken with my iPhone 4s in Ridgefield, Washington.
© by scj