If you’ve ever lived where there is dirt, not New York City or downtown Los Angeles, some place with unpaved hills and bugs, then you’ve seen how fruit grows. Maybe not exotic fruit. Maybe nothing from the Amazon, but you’ve seen an apple or an orange most likely, dangling from a stem, light caught in a dew dusted curve around its belly. Maybe a pear.
You’ve seen a tree, perhaps, on a “good year.” It was heavy, bushy in all it’s productivity and weighted down with what it was designed to do in life. If you have lived in a place where your home didn’t require an elevator to get to, you know that fruit can be beautiful just in its waiting-ness to fall. So beautiful, it feels personal. The season turned as did your admiration into impatience for picking time.
If you have woken up early to the opening day where air and hour and the absence of sound work on you like a special promise, you have known what it is like to put on your creased and cracked boots, to call your happy dogs and start out into your long work.
You know that every tree has potential and every tree has limits. You remember when you first came upon the brokenness, the fractured limbs, the long fresh splinters cutting through the morning just so. Too soon. “Too soon,” you think and repeat out loud to your tree, trying to explain. Too soon, fruit still holding the branch like they are drowning. The last clutch in death. Oh, shame.
If you have lived where branches so full of fruit break under the weight of their life’s work, you have lived to learn that to be productive, to sustain that kind of strain, to endure, a tree and her branches need support. You have known forever after to put two-by-fours fashioned into braces under those loads and hope the big winds don’t loose their grip. You can’t forget the loss. Sometimes you have even thinned the clustered fruit, maybe peaches, reluctantly pulling out one of three, two of three. You’ve done what it takes. Dropping them and knowing that the others will grow. Your fingers, bitten with cold and regret, move between the leaves giving yourself and the tree hope. You give yourself and you give the tree what is needed to produce well and to live.
In those deciding moments, if you have worked with these trees, you have learned that we also break and lose what our life would put out for the world. If we could. If we had support. If we were buttressed. No one can put out for long without it. Not Me.
And so now, we look to see where our hopes have increased. We identify where to tend, where we habitually, that is to say, or where we have on many other occasions been known to come apart. Oh, the loss. The memory with the knowing fear dances like a hologram until we simply or not so simply, this time, acquire help.
Questions: How are you working to build up support where you are weak? How do you find support? What have you seen come out of your life when you have? Please tell us your story.
Self-Care Tip: Get you some support where you are weak. Be a friend to yourself.