The apple blossom

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, June 4, 2020

Our apple tree: background, full bloom May 18, 2006; inset left, mature blossoms May 23, 2013; right, honey bee’s delight May 29, 2019; centre, first blossom of 2020 May 29.
Photos by Warren Harbeck

This past weekend as protestors massed in cities around the world to express their anger over racism and their hearts’ longing for justice, our backyard apple tree echoed a blessing on them. Let me tell you about our apple tree’s blessing.

May is that special month when I look forward to enjoying our apple tree’s beautiful blossoms through our bedroom window. I can still recall that May of 2006 when the tree was so lush with blossoms you couldn’t even see through it.

Certainly most years by mid-May, the clusters of blossoms are a photographer’s dream. And by the end of May – last year, for instance – the inviting blossoms are a honey bee’s dream, too!

But this year as the last week of May arrived, I was growing concerned. No blossoms yet! Where was that life-affirming beauty I so longed for?

Then last Friday morning, May 29, I looked out our window, and there it was: our first apple blossom of the season, fully opened and escorted by five buds, was smiling up at me! I felt blessed.

So, just how was our apple tree echoing a timeless blessing on the throngs of peaceful protestors who long for one thing: justice?

In both the Hebrew and Christian Bible, the word often translated as “righteousness” is really all about justice, what I think of as the societal expression of the Golden Rule. Far more than even that first apple blossom of spring, it’s something to be longed for with all our heart.

It is this sense that appears in Jesus’ fourth Beatitude, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

And our beautiful long-awaited apple blossom has echoed that blessing. Now, in the spirit of that blessing may all those protesting racism and crying out for righteousness embrace that Beatitude and be filled with the joy of justice.


© 2020 Warren Harbeck

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