A year ago I posted this humorous picture and comment on Instagram:
“In a Brazilian’s home, apples grow in bunches like bananas.”
Little did I know that what I thought was really cool and interesting was actually a sign of my complete lack of knowledge of basic apple tree care.
Apples and pears abound on the trees right now. And now I know I need to pluck most of the fruits from each bunch, leaving 1 or 2 so that they can fully develop into beautiful, tasty fruit. Visiting each tree to thin it – yes, I found out “thinning” is the technical name for “plucking fruit to improve crops” – is also an opportunity to inspect fruit for deformations, insect infestation, and diseases.
I am loving my fruit trees. I have always loved them, as in I loved that they existed. But now I am mothering them. I am pouring my energy, my sight, my willpower, my free time into caring for them. I am truly, deeply loving them.
And in this process, as in motherhood, I am discovering aspects of my personality that had been hiding for a while. Grace with myself is one of them. It has been hiding for so long I can’t even remember the last time I wasn’t judging myself harshly for something I didn’t accomplish to my content. Personally, professionally, as a mother and as a wife, as a friend, as a daughter and as a sister. In every realm of my life.
Enjoy the ride
This week, as I thinned my trees, I overheard my thoughts:
– How am I supposed to choose which fruit to remove?
– Well, maybe you pick the smallest or most damaged one. I remember something about plucking the one that comes off easily.
– What if I pick the wrong fruit? How about this bunch in which all of the fruits have the same size and look identical? Oh, no! The whole bunch came off in my hand!
– That’s ok. This is a learning process. No need to stress. You are doing the best you can with what you know right now. Remember, last year you had apples growing in bunches, and you couldn’t find a handful of good ones to eat. This year you are taking a chance to make it better. If you find 5-10 apples that are good, that’s a huge progress. Besides, feel this breeze. Look at the sunset. What a great place to be right now. Enjoy the ride.
I was taken aback by this internal conversation. I could barely recognize myself… But it felt so good.
Nature is wise
I wonder if nature does that on purpose, that impact on us. Because after I realized what positive changes crop care is bringing to me, I started to make time to be outside, loving my fruits, herbs, vegetables and flowers at least 30 minutes every day.
And now I am excited for summer to bring more loving hours and more positive changes.