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9 August 2021

It has been a great consolation to be able to put the coffee down and step out into the garden to take a breath of fresh air and see what's going on. Which birds are calling to each other, what's growing on the lemon tree, if we have any kumquats yet (we do), how the apples are doing.

Apples. Nikon D200 with 43-86mm Nikkor at f3.5, 1/125 second and ISO 200. Processed in Adobe Camera Raw (twice).

We trace this pleasure back to our childhood when we were enthralled by the little jaws on the snapdragons planted in the back yard, pulling them apart, one by one. We were educated on the value of leaving the plants alone shortly after.

For the third year in a row, we have apples on our peculiar apple tree, which is really three trees planted together the way we acquired them from a neighbor. We thought it would save some grafting down the line.

But this year, the more mature tree is delivering a lot more apples.

So we took a few photos of the new crop the other day as the sun was just coming up and the tree was still in shade.

In her essay I Don't Want to Spend the Rest of My Days Grieving published today in the New York Times (and presented here as a gift link), Margaret Renkl writes, "Life is not at all a long process and it would be wrong to spend my own remaining days in ceaseless grief."

So she admonishes herself "to attend to what is not dying, to focus as much on the exquisite beauties of this earth as on its staggering losses."

Exquisite beauties. That's precisely how we think of these little apples. It does the soul good to stand there with a camera, lining them up for a close-up as the morning coffee steams a bit in the background somewhere.

There will be time for that later.

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