In sacrificing an apple tree

On her first birthday in the new house, we gifted the sapling of an apple tree. During the following years, we would learn each other as people, as members of a family. The sapling in the backyard, all the while, growing and becoming whole. Things would change though, as they always do. Droughts obscured the once green garden with layers of dry dirt. Chappy, the border collie, would pass away. So too would the cats. Eventually the letter came, announcing the new development behind Anita's home. One hundred new houses to be constructed over the following years. The fragile bushland that originally attracted her to the town, destroyed. In a long and difficult decision, it was clear we had to go. What had grown to become our family home during those early years, was destined to be just that. A shared history during the initial phase of knowing. A site of new growth and old memories. There's no way to move an apple tree once it has settled its roots, so we had to leave it behind, holding within its flesh our memories of place.