A is for Apple
Well duh, who doesn't know the significant role apples have played in the greatest love stories of all time? Ancient mythologies and folklore, The Bible, Shakespeare, fairy-tales and arguably the most romantic film ever, Sleepless in Seattle have all featured apples. You remember that poignant moment in Sleepless, when Jonah worries that he'll forget his mommy and his father tells him "She could peel an apple in one long, curly strip. The whole apple." Then later, Annie (Meg Ryan) hears Sam (Tom Hanks) on the radio and I'm willing that apple peel not to break as she listens to - but here, see for yourself:
In literature and in life, apples symbolise love.
So maybe that's why I chose to call my first published novel The Apple Tree. One grows in Juliet's garden and when she begins to feel stirrings of love for Nicholas (whom she mistakes for a gardener) she suddenly realises how important that old tree is to her.
Julie watched him deftly pulling away grass and weeds to let the delicate blue heads find the spring sunlight and thought, he is a gardener...no matter what else he might also be...first and foremost, he is a gardener. But he handles these tiny flowers with all the reverence of an artist or even as if he created them himself. She wondered if his earlier deprivation had been responsible for his love of gardens and flowers. She leaned back against a mossy trunk to give him space to work and to watch him admiringly and soon became preoccupied with her own thoughts. When he had finished, he looked around as if to seek her approval and smiled at her.
“When you begin work on our garden, will you promise to be as kind to our old apple tree?” A sudden feeling of sentimentality overwhelmed her.
He smiled down at her. “Given a half-way reasonable defence, I expect I could be persuaded, though as a physician you must know that it’s not a healthy tree.”
“Isn’t it? No, I didn’t know that.” The thought filled her with alarm.
“Would you like to outline its medical history?”
All of a sudden, the future of the old apple tree became very important to Julie. “It’s where all the important things of my early life happened. I took my first steps under its branches and it was where my mother used to love to sit and read. I always knew I would find her there if nowhere else. She made me a swing from one of its branches and I loved that swing. And apart from everything else, it’s got something to do with today just feeling so special.”
“Say no more! I never harm sacred property,” he promised.