A bird must have planted the tree. I certainly didn’t. I would have judged the spot too close to the house. But birds and seeds have no such restrictions, and so this wild Hawthorne tree is close enough to the window where I drink my morning cup of tea, I could reach out and touch it without moving from the pillow I lean against on the window seat.
The tree is a little taller than the first story roof of my house, has multiple trunks, none of which are as big around as my forearm, and thin branches that have twisted and tangled with one another. In summer, the leaves are green with burgundy edges, then turn to russet and plum in the fall. Now, in early April, the branches are bare except for the thorns they wear in all seasons. Last night an alchemist wearing a pastry chef’s hat came and changed the tree into a lacy confection iced with thick powdered-sugar snow.
The chickadees use the branches as an unlikely anvil to crack open sunflower seeds they glean from the nearby feeder. The stellar jay causes the tree to shrug off its coat of snow when the branches dip and spring back as he flies from his perch and takes his turn at the feeder.
To have a tree by the window is to enjoy a bit of Eden. It rests my eyes, delights my heart, and satisfies my mind. It is the perfect gift I did not ask for. Instead, I asked that my soul would not famish, * and a bird planted a seed.
*Proverbs 10:3 The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish.