I’ve just bitten into the fruit of an old plum tree. It doesn’t produce much anymore, but the few fruits it does produce are oh, so sweet; full of hope and wisdom. There really isn’t much expectation, anymore, about producing progeny. Flowering and fruiting is what it does- yet it has almost grown beyond any idea of what that might bring.
Trees have it easy in some senses, in that they don’t have to diaper and closely attend their offspring until a self-caring maturity takes hold. There is this sweet fruit, where the sweetness of the fruit holds all the promise of the seed. Compelled by the seed when more youthful, later we find that it is only the sweetness that really matters.
Each year, the old tree sprouts new growth. The few fruits either fall to the ground or are seized by raccoons. Yet the offering is not only reflexive, but gently enlivening to any who would notice. This old tree, whose limbs are less productive than those of more vigorous younger trees, teaches the sweetness of age, and the precious juices of embracing new life in the only way it knows.
©2011 Anthony S. Wright, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved.