A Rural Ritual

Not for Most City Folk

By Marylyn Cork

It’s a lovely morning on this hill where I live. The sun beams from an almost-cloudless azure sky. Northern Idaho’s soil and our densely forested mountains desperately need rain already in mid-May, as I write this. Unless conditions change, it doesn’t bode well for the uneventful wildfire season we’d all like to see this year. Spring has been cold and dreary for the most part, though, so one can’t help relishing the sunny and warm days when they come.

Today, at my house, newly leafed-out trees nod in a teasing breeze blowing up from the Pend Oreille River, sending spent blossoms flying from an overgrown forsythia. My flowering cherry tree, named “Mona” after my mother, has already shed white blossoms from its upper limbs, while the pink beauties underneath, on limbs that hang like an open umbrella, are just now coming into exquisite bloom.

I call it my split-personality tree. A gift from my younger son and his family when my mother died, it was supposed to be an addition to a couple of dwarf weeping flowering crabapple trees. But the graft didn’t hold and now it’s both: an upright flowering tree that blooms white above and weeping pink below.

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