I recently got to visit my old friend. She’s now in the winter of her life–an incredibly long and giving life. I first met her when I was ten. We’d just moved and I was lonely and in need of a confidant. She aptly filled the bill. She was much taller than I, so I’d climb up and sit. She’d wrap her arms around me and listen without judgment.

Late summer nights, when I’d be at the height of my star watching, I always knew that, no matter how late, she’d be happy to have me come over to share an apple or two, and we’d sit together while the rest of the world slept.

Every child should be so lucky.

My childhood apple tree.