A tree to life
Sunday November 09th 2014, 11:44 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends,Life

The box was sitting there on a little table outside the women’s meeting room. Enticing–but there was by no means enough for everybody in the congregation and people were being polite and not taking any and the things were just sitting there.

No note on who they were from.

There was a visitor sitting next to me at church and she remarked on how good those pomegranates looked.

Please, go take one! I urged her. That’s what they’re for!

Now, I had never seen pomegranates like this: if you remember the game from when we were kids where you fold a piece of paper just so so that you can put index fingers and thumbs into the four quarters of it and move them up-and-down or across, tightly shut or open, this way, that way, this way, till the big reveal as you open the paper up?

The pomegranates looked like that. Most were split clear open into segments, there were some random quarters, and Jean (it was Jean who’d brought them) had also placed small paper bags at the ready for people to put them into.

All it takes is one person going ahead to offer a sense of permission to others to do likewise–I mean, you just can’t disappoint the giver by making them cart it all sadly home, rejected.

Jean later apologized to me for having waited maybe a week too long, for having let them split like that, but they were her first crop and she’d wanted them good and ripe after her three years’ wait.

And she wanted to share.

I got one that was cracked nearly around its globe but it wasn’t wide open like the others–I figured, with my deep sense of klutz, probably best that I get one that couldn’t spill seeds around should I drop the bag.

When that last meeting was over and it was time to go home, Jean was explaining to someone who hadn’t seen them why she was carrying away this now-empty box.

And I reached into my bag and, knowing my hands couldn’t do this, said to the guy, Here, if you can split this for me?

He did, and Jean got to see her sharing growing into more sharing.

And so Richard and I took home a half of the best pomegranate we have ever tasted.

It was a revelation all around: if all the varieties grow like that one, that would mean you can never buy a truly ripe pomegranate because shipping split ones would be a nightmare.

Because here was the other thing new to us: the seeds just poured out. There was no effort to it. They just came. Wow. Cool!

At church I said something to Jean about growing mangos too and she exclaimed, “I tried three times! My brother sent me a Hayden.” Having grown up in Hawaii, she added wistfully, “I love Haydens.”

Turns out she had never heard of the Christmas lights trick for keeping the trees from freezing. (LEDs need not apply.) She was intrigued. She might need help with the planting but it looked to me like she was ready to go try again.

Jean is a Pearl Harbor survivor, a young adult coming out of church that day in time to look down the hillside to see the bombs falling below.

And she planted that pomegranate tree towards the future three years ago and she got to pick and to share that fruit.

I tell you, order her Hayden and my Alphonso, we will have mango-growing stories to swap, there’s no stopping her now.

3 Comments so far
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That would never happen in Ohio. I need to move right next door to you…

Comment by Pam 11.10.14 @ 2:32 pm

I almost bought a big beautiful box of pomegranates yesterday at Costco – such gorgeous things. And to see them splitting open and offering their jewels – wow!

Comment by twinsetellen 11.10.14 @ 5:23 pm

What a hopeful post! The deer have ravaged my poor magnolia (buck in rut). Too many deer makes living in the woods… annoying.

Comment by Channon 11.11.14 @ 6:46 pm

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