Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Bearing Fruit
The house where I grew up was not only home to a joyous family, but also an abundant garden lots of fruit trees. There were lemons, figs, apricots, plums, peaches, nectarine, and other varieties. We always had plenty of fresh fruit in the summertime and plenty canned for the winter. I loved watching the tiny buds appear and then pretty pink or white blossoms open up. I always wanted to cut a few branches with blossoms and bring them in and put them in a vase, but I knew that would effect the amount of fruit the tree would produce. I never wanted to disrupt the process of the tree coming to life. The leaves would then sprout and then eventually the fruit would appear. Each year this process unfolded and in many ways it was magical.

One year, one of the apricot trees had a small harvest. It was disappointing because this tree always gave so much sweet, juicy fruit that ended up in cobblers and jams and canned for winter treats. Each year thereafter, the fruit began to decline until we were lucky to get just a dozen small apricots that were no longer as sweet as in previous years. I kept wondering if we were doing something wrong. How could this tree be saved? It couldn't be lack of water or pruning. Could it be pollution or some other factor? Could it be beyond its fruit bearing years? Was that even possible for trees? Didn't they last for hundred of years? I was even more puzzled. I had no idea that trees had a finite time for producing fruit.

Eventually this tree became diseased, parasites made a home in it, and the tree began to fade away. We cut it down and removed the stump. The sweetness of the fruit was only a memory. What started as a magical unfolding of life ended as a peaceful conclusion to the cycle. The tree, no longer productive, simply withered. It's lifespan peaked in the abundance of the harvest, but its decline began when it no longer produced fruit.
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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