The External Sometimes Contradicts the Internal

Dear Friends,

As I sit and watch the trees sway gently, I discipline my breathing and do
my best to concentrate on nothing but the beauty of the fluffy clouds in
the sky. Life sounds (birds, music, whistles from a soccer coach nearby)
interrupt my concentration. I return to my writing place and our pet, Lila,
returns to her usual spot at my feet, trusting that at some point during the
writing of my narrative I will pause and scratch her belly! Get out early
today and enjoy the first day of March 2020!

We have a neighbor whose small orchard, with its large variety of fruit
trees, I stop often to admire from our road. In the 18 years we have lived
here, I have seen him endlessly employ technique and care to its upkeep.
He lightly prunes his hibiscus hedge, encouraging the plants to create the
the additional branches that result in magical places for colorful flowers
to bloom. If he happened to be working in his yard when I passed by, his
no-nonsense demeanor discouraged pleasantries so I just went my way.

Some months ago as I was headed to town, the unmistakable purplish-
brown color of figs hung on one of the trees near the fence of his land.
I adore fresh figs. These gorgeous specimens were just begging to be
picked and consumed. When I returned from my errands, I noticed they
were all gone, my neighbor must have been busy while I was out! I had
three trees in pots that had not grown very much in two or three years. I
was very disappointed but resigned to just accepting their slow progress.

One day our neighbor was sitting in a chair admiring his view when I
was headed out. I boldly greeted him and asked about the fig tree. Since
he couldn’t hear me, he walked over to the fence so we could talk. At first,
I was intimidated (scared even) but as soon as he realized my admiration
for his small plantation, he relaxed, smiled and shared all the secrets to his
success with the fig tree in particular. He invited me to stop in another day
so I could properly take a walking tour and see his collection of ferns and
other fruit trees.

My husband and I decided the fig trees needed to be relocated and thought
about possible locations. We chose the healthiest tree to relocate to my
recently-upgraded (but still bare) garden. In just a few weeks, it has begun
to develop little buds and I have made a concerted effort to visit it each
morning to make sure there are no signs of pests or anything else that
would prevent it from fruiting. I am happy that I challenged myself to
approach our neighbor. His gruff exterior was contradicted by his sharing
of advice and resources. It reminded me once again that one cannot judge
a book by its cover!

Have a wonderful day and a terrific week, Marietta

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