Friday, April 16, 2010
An Ode to an Almond Tree & A Girl Named Marcy
It is with great pride that I post this photo today. It may seem a simple, single pale pink flower on a small tree, but it is so much more.
As Georgie O'Keefe said, “Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time."
Almond trees are having a hard time all over the country. In California, they are being attacked by a virus and they don't know what it is or what to do about it. Almonds are becoming more precious than ever.
We did not know this when we ordered this tiny baby tree. She has been nothing but trouble since she arrived. Japanese beetles love her tasty leaves, which is a sign that she is the weakest plant in our yard.
After the second year of pruning her back to basically the beginning, after all the excitement over her quick growth was met with clippers, I said to Marcy that I thought we should just take her out, give up.
I have a bit of a "survival of the fittest" approach to gardening*. Marcy does not. After she named the second thing we put in this yard, I told her, No more...we can't name every bush, tree, and flower that we put in the ground. Really. There aren't enough names for the couple thousand spring bulbs I have planted over the years.
(*Don't think me cold. Whenever we have contemplated moving from this place, I am the one who stops us. I cry at the very thought of leaving all this behind.)
But when she got upset over the almond tree, I knew she was right. This tree needed our care and patience.
Like I had when Marcy met me.
My roots were weak; I rarely flowered; and I certainly had many, many years ahead of me during which I would be barren.
But Marcy, who has the patience of a Buddha, saw me in the way in which Georgia speaks in that quote.
She saw me and she could see this tree.
And now both I and the tree have flowered and there is definitely a harvest in our near futures.