When we walked through our house with the previous owner, before we purchased in March of 2015, she referred to the apple tree out back by name. Stella. I come from a lineage of gardeners and my green thumb sits securely attached to my palm, but I’ve never named a tree.

I scoffed inside.  Until Stella bloomed later that April after all the papers were signed.

Her perfumed skirt of light pink blossoms shades me every spring while I watch the fruit between her legs ripen until we harvest in October so that when Thanksgiving rolls around we’ve got apple pie.

Stella is a miracle. My miracle, every April.

This year, two days ago, Denver experienced record low temps. The green leaves on her branches are now brown and withered from the deep, deep freeze; her blossoms burned. She is a miracle that is true, but I think even Lazarus had a little more life left in him than the poor tree does at this point.

Today we entered Day 33. They’re simultaneously fighting and laughing over Legos? They’re eating nonstop. One is navigating gender identity while another is learning how not to wipe their shit after a bowel movement. One is begging me for a violin IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC and another has taken a liking to water-picking the dog. 

I knew Stella was coming and I felt calm when I remembered her scent and the sound of the bees impregnating her while I voyuered from the sofa on the patio out back.

When you’re sober it means you can’t impulsively buy face masks anymore. So you just get very excited about flowers blooming, especially during a pandemic. And then those flowers freeze. So now I’m dealing with a Sephora cart locked and loaded; I drove by Target yesterday just for a whiff. I want to eat that. I need to control this. I want to text him. How can I avoid feeling that?

What do we do when our miracles freeze to death? During quarantine? With four kids navigating gender constructs, shitty fingers, creative blocks, and animal torture?

And then…this is the bestworstbest of it…

The hardest thing to hit me in these 33 days has been a silly barren tree.

Thank You.

Who knows where her skirt and her fruit is this year. What will I do without them? How will we recover? Even Lazarus had more life left in him, I think.

Sephora will have to do. Please don’t scoff, my miracle died and left me here on the sofa with clouds rolling in again. And I can still smell the shit on her fingers…

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  1. I took a screenshot of the words, “from Claire to me” after reading your love words. Such brash, intimate words straight to my heart. I’m so selective of what I read cuz it’s such a sacred exchange. Thank you. You’re a treasure to me.. You have an inexpressible gift. I love you.

  2. Claire… is late and of course this old lady is still up!!!! I am giggling and laughing out loud at your descriptive words describing your kiddos!!!! You are indeed one of a kind and it is a treat to have known you and been in your life!!!!!! Keep writing!!!!

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