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.

Marcy cried.

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.


Linnea said...

As a fellow tree-namer and admirer of Christine + Marcy, I cried, too.

The almond tree's an inspiration. If it can persevere, so can we.

Melita said...

this is such a sweet post. i hope that your almond tree continues to blossom as much as you have. :) have a wonderful weekend. hugs!

Amy Putkonen said...

Hi Christine,

I have been reading your blog regularly for the last few weeks, so finally making a comment! I really loved this post. Such a beautiful story. I live in Minnesota and we often go up north to my husband's parent's house and they live amidst the pines. The pines are suffering a similar fate - struggling to survive some sort of bug that just wipes them out. So sad. Thank God for the Marcy's of the world, huh?

just me said...


Lisa said...


This is beautiful!

And so are both of you :)

Elize said...

so lovely

Paige said...

That is simply one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.

Karen D said...

Beautifully said, very touching.

Heather Plett said...

Beautiful and just what I needed to read this morning before I leave for another day at the hospital where my almond tree awaits.

Emma said...

Wonderful post! :) :) :)

Here's to Marcy and to you and to the almond tree! :)

StorytellERdoc said...

One of your finest posts...EVER! The parallel of stories is awesome.

Have a great weekend.

Laura Hegfield said...

so beautiful :)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

A beautiful post!

Em said...

And that post is all love. Wonderful, wonderful post. <3

Laurina said...

I too have been reading your blog for many months now, but rarely comment. But this was indeed lovely and a lovely way to start my Sunday. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'm glad Marcy now has two blooming almond trees in her life ;)