Monday, March 19, 2007
The Orange Blossom Special
There is an orange tree in my backyard. A fairly rare occurrence this far north, I enjoy it as much for its rarity as for its beauty.
I sprouted the seeds from a grocery-store orange on my kitchen windowsill in Smithville, Texas sometime between 1988 and 1992. I brought a fairly large and thorny houseplant with me when I moved here in 1993. Finally, the tree became too big and stickery to move into and out of the house with the seasons, and we chose a sheltered location on the south side of our house and hoped for the best that it would survive on its own.
And survive it has. This tree is a miracle of life force. It stands 30 feet tall, covered with waxy, fragrant, dark green leaves, and two-to-three-inch thorns. For years we didn't know whether it was an orange or a lemon tree, until it bore fruit three years ago. The first year we got 3 oranges that were too underripe to eat, picked because we were having a freeze. This year, we had bushels.
We picked the last of this year's crop on Sunday, March 4. The fruit was sweet, and we enjoyed the fresh-squeezed juice we made to prevent the fruit from spoiling.
When he brought me the last of the fruit, my husband told me that the tree had buds on it. On Saturday, the first fragrant bloom opened its face to the sun. There are hundreds of buds on the tree today.
The odds were against that tiny seed from the beginning. Of thousands of oranges sold in that part of Texas, the likelihood of a seed sprouting and growing into a tree were slim, but this seed did. For the plant to survive to become a tree required that it be planted somewhere it could survive, and again, inexplicably, the planets alligned correctly.
The chances of this happening in my life are a little better than average, but in all, everytime I walk by that tree, I see a miracle. True, the world is crashing and burning in many respects, but just for today, I will see the miraculous.
Posted by Ann Weaver Hart at 9:39 AM
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