At the end of the garden there was a cherry tree. Mum said that the council had planted fruit trees in lots of the gardens across town. The cherry tree had a sturdy trunk and then it’s branches spread out above our fence and extended way beyond our garden.
Every spring, what was an otherwise grey sprawl of pre-fab housing erupted with splashes of every shade of pink fruit tree blossoms. Nature can make even the greyest, dullest of man’s creations look pretty.
I would jump up and grab a branch of the cherry tree, and then walk my feet up the tree trunk and swing them round the branch I was holding. Then I would pull myself up like some kind of trapeze artist. Pulling my sisters up was a more hazardous process. I was relieved when they grew, and were able to climb into the tree themselves.
Submerged within the candyfloss pink blossoms, breathing in the sweet air of spring, we would each sit on branches of the tree and decide the make-believe game we would play. The cherry tree usually became a ship. Mandy became the ship’s captain. I was the navigator. Milly might become anything Mandy and I decided. She gleefully accepted whatever role we assigned her because she loved being included in all the fun to be had.
Throughout the spring the grey concrete slabs were bathed with soft pink petals. We walked through the maze of council estate, down to the sweet shop, kicking the petals and admiring all the different shades of pink. They were especially pretty when the sky above was blue.
I have to say…I am glad the local council decided to plant fruit trees in the tiny gardens of the shoddily built houses that made up the estates of the new-town of Liverpool that we grew up in. That was not a waste of money. It brought colour and beauty and wonder to our doorsteps.
This was in response to THE ELEMENTAL CHALLENGE hosted by Teresa aka The Haunted Wordsmith: