‘Bradford pear -Orrnamental’ said the tag. Not known for their fruit, which is typically less than an inch in diameter, I figured nonetheless it would look pretty in the spring. I planted the tiny sapling right in the middle of the backyard which overlooks our serene 7 acre property.
As it grew and blossomed, fruitless yet beautiful, I began to see it as an obstruction to the meadow and the farmland behind it. I began to look past it. Two years ago I found a pear – one pear – on the ground underneath the tree, and my first thought was “Where on earth did that pear come from?”. ‘Cut it down’ a little voice whispered. The following year wasn’t much better – 3 or 4 pears. The voice got louder ‘Cut it down’. I spent my time looking past the pear tree out into the meadow and beyond. During our walks the dogs and I all but ignored it, moving quickly to the meadow paths we loved to explore.
Then, late this spring during a walk with the dogs they caught my eye…hundreds of blossoms with the beginnings of tiny pears. Now, each day we began our walk with a visit to the pear tree that was smothered with fruit. It was like watching a pregnant woman unfold, and the womb-shaped fruit was a visual symbol of growth, new life, ‘fruitfulness’. How is she today? I hope the windstorm didn’t cause her any damage. Too much rain? Not enough?
Delivery day has arrived, and the pears are ripe and luscious, dropping to the ground in their heaviness. The dogs race me to the tree, gorging on the bounty that is spread out like a picnic. Each morning I lie beneath the tree with them, looking in wonderment at this miracle of nature. Eating the pears warm, freshly plucked and vibrantly alive, I feel like a fetus tethered to the umbilical cord of my Mother, Gaia. My gratitude knows no bounds.