Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Little Orange Tree That Couldn't

When we first moved to Florida, I planted a little orange tree.
It was a happy little tree, growing where it was, but my neighbor advised me to move it.
The tree, he said, would grow into the electric wires overhead.

So I moved the little orange tree to the other side of the house
 and waited for it to grow and bloom.
Nothing. Nada. For four years.
Surely, I'd stunted its growth by moving it.
Then one glorious day we spotted a flower, a promise of fruit.
We were going to have oranges!

When we returned from the summer in Iowa, yellow orbs hung on the little tree.
We watched them ripen. By the time they turned orange, the peels carried spots.
When opened, the fruit was wrinkled, lacking in juice, and bitter.
We decided we'd damaged the fruit by trimming the tree, feeding, or not feeding it.
 Each year we picked up the fallen fruit and put it in the garbage and
decided we'd be happy with the tree as a decorative asset in our garden.

This year, we were stunned by the beauty of the tree.
It had grown substantially in our summer's absence,
its limbs now draped heavily with yellow and green fruit.

Carmen, our neighbor on the other side, commented on the new garden beauty.
I don't know what happened while you were gone, she said, but your lemon tree is gorgeous!!

Lemon tree?
Turns out, if we pick the fruit at the yellow stage,
we have marvelous lemonade, honey/lemon tea, and lemon waters.

Who knew!?

Wish you were here to pick a few!

lemon tree very pretty
and the lemon flower is sweet
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
~~Peter, Paul and Mary

when life gives you lemons, make lemonade

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lighting the Fire

My bucket list has a special item on it:
Not a fireplace lit by gas but one that burns with wood.

For now, I photograph artful stacks of firewood that promise flickering fires
and collect quotes that inspire warming my feet by the fire...

Though you live near a forest,
do not waste firewood.
~~Chinese Proverb

To poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment
than almost anything else in the world.
~~Charles Dudley Warner

One can enjoy a wood fire worthily only
when he warms his thoughts by it as well as his hands and feet.
~~Odell Shepherd

Once upon a time threre was piece of wood. It was not an expensive piece of wood. Far from it. Just a common block of firewood, one of those thick, solid logs that are put on the fire in winter to make cold rooms cozy and warm...
~~Carlo Collodi

Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed,
one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people.
~~Garrison Keillor

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Today's the Feast of St. Francis...

While you are proclaiming peace with your lips,
be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.
~~St. Francis of Assisi

One of our views while walking in Assisi, Italy, 2005

St. Francis~~mystic, confessor, and founder of the Franciscans~~
 is revered and honored in his hometown of Assisi, Italy.
October 4 is his name day.
An eye-opening stop for walking tourists,
Assisi will greet you with festive flags, medieval arches, and generous gelatos.

Sculpture by Johann Baptist Moroder-Lusenberg.

Painting by Jusepe de Ribera