Something worth more
“I work hard in the orchard, not for the money anymore, but for something I can’t explain. Something worth more than money.”― Steven Herrick
I have only faint childhood memories of occasionally picking fruit. I recall muscadines, and plums, and the blackberries that grew in the wild bushes surrounding the pond behind our home. One year my mother planted strawberries, but we didn’t grow enough of them to keep up with my appetite. I had fantasies about growing watermelons.
I read stories in children’s novels about people who picked all sorts of tasty fruits– apples and cherries and peaches and citrus. My parents talked of our home in the Texas border town where I had been born, and how they could pick grapefruit right off the tree. I wondered with envy what it must be like to have such bounty close at hand, free for the taking.
It would be more than forty years before I found out. In northern California our next door neighbor had nearly a dozen fruit trees, including pomegranates, mandarins, and Sorrento lemons. He told us to pick all we wanted, because he did not eat any of the fruit. The more we picked them, the more they grew.
We had fresh lemonade about ten months of the year every year, because Jeff liked making it and got very good at just enough sugar. It was a couple of years before I realized I had experienced the first winters in my memory without catching a single cold. Of all the things I miss about California, I think those sunny fresh lemons are near the top of my list.
Do you have fruit trees nearby, or orchards where you love to go and pick fresh fruit? If so, send us some delicious details so we can enjoy a virtual treat. It might even inspire us to visit the grocery store for a less-tasty substitute. For those of you who are able to pick fresh fruits and berries, enjoy them! I agree with Herrick; they are worth more than money.