The Pear Tree

IMG_5349

 

She was more

than a sapling,

so robust.

One summer she

bowed

her tear shaped body,

offering

a hundred sweet pears

to any creature

that sought her gifts.

Did the deer remember?

Fruit that fermented became

fertilizer for hungry plants.

 

When they

girded her slender trunk

that winter

I felt betrayed

by the herd of graceful creatures

I fed…

 

She was dead.

Her sweet cambium

stripped away

under rough bark.

Unable to carry

nitrogen, water, nutrients

from trunk to twig

the tree succumbed.

 

I would have cut her down

but she was hidden

below the house

in the lower field,

out of sight.

So the tree still stood –

skeleton gray against

new green

and wheat.

 

I continued to visit her –

murmured endearments,

stroked the scarred

trunk

“re- membering”

her life,

the wholeness

she once embodied.

 

Every fall I cut the field

Each spring I walked the

Round.

 

It was during

a May meandering

that I drifted

towards the tree –

startled when

lime green

caught my eye.

A few stunted leaves

were unfurling…

How could this be?

 

Bearing witness

to the struggle,

I cried out,

laid my head against

her trunk, caressed

a branch or two.

 

Some life force

had not surrendered –

 

During the summer

more leaves appeared.

I honored her tenacity,

placed protective wire

around her girth

under Autumn’s chill.

The philosopher held

the inevitable question…

How?

 

When I approached her

this spring

plump buds had formed

on branches over my head.

The Red Winged Blackbird

courted us both

from one of Pear’s

blue sky limbs…

 

After the heat wave

I couldn’t wait

to see her again…

 

Strolling down

the pine scented path.

I peered into the field

walked towards her

gasping in amazement.

A brilliant White Earth Star

stood there before me

festooned in

Bridal blossoms.

Honey Bees hummed

from every pearl -like petal.

 

“How did you do that?”

I queried in wonder,

recalling suddenly,

that I knew –

all trees communicate

underground,

ask for help,

exchange information

through rootlets,

mycelial networks,

miles of fungi,

woven into a tapestry

from tree to tree.

Did nearby white pine

or crabapple

nurture her

roots and trunk

when all seemed lost?

 

Miracles occurred

with regularity.

 

Like this one.

 

I was standing next to

a blooming pear tree

who would one day

bear sweet fruit!

 

Life had triumphed

for a cosmic moment.

 

Woman and Tree

were both transformed

by relationship

running deep.

 

 

Working notes:

This piece of prose was generated by the question of how much difference my love for this tree might have had on her return to life. Obviously there were biological/ecological forces that helped the tree recover, but my sense is that my love for her also helped in some mysterious way.

 

Developing a relationship with a tree or lizard or dog seems to create a reciprocity that strengthens both participants. And trees and women have an ancient relationship that stretches back through mythological time.

 

When we “re – member” some part of us brings what appears to be the past and the present together – my sense is that there is a wholeness inherent in remembering that also blurs the boundaries between the living and the dead.

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