This is a picture of the apple tree in my garden. When I first viewed the house last year the tree had blossomed but no fruit appeared. Maybe it’s the wine I’ve poured at its roots, or the fertiliser I’ve added, or the work I’ve done to clear the trees around it but, this year, it’s putting on a fine show.
I feel so blessed by this one simple thing, so sure it is a sign from the spirits of this land and hearth. When I was a child my parents had an apple tree that bore abundant fruit. We climbed the tree and ate delicious apple pies (including sneaking bits of the tart raw apple while my Mum was cooking). My Mum put cloves in the pies and when we got one we knew we had good luck. Up until my last home we had no room in our gardens for apple trees so once there was a chance we planted one. A special tree dedicated to the 3 pregnancies lost in that home. For whatever reason, much as I loved it, the tree blossomed beautiully but only bore 1-2 fruits each year. I was reminded that the orchards of Helheim (the northern tradition ‘underworld’) are thought to be abundant with fruit and wondered if perhaps the fruits that never made it had rippened there. It gave me comfort to think that a mirror of my living tree might be nurturing our never-met children but the tree always made me sad.
Here, in this new garden my new tree is fruiting. I am reminded now of Idun, the Goddess who carries the apples that restore youth to the Gods. I feel her warmth, her song and her mystery around me. Of course, all this just a story I have wrapped around myself and this fruiting tree. But our story is where our soul lives.
What stories do you carry with you to nourish your soul?
In the Hearthspace this month we’re exploring soul stories under the patronage of the Goddess Saga. There’s still time to join and access this month’s circles as well as recordings from previous months.