Thursday, March 25, 2010
The Happy Fig
When I was a boy, I remember trading chores with my mother. She liked to weed the garden, and I found it very distasteful. While she would mow the lawn, I would vacuum the carpets. I didn't like to work up a sweat with the sun beating down on my head. Imagine, complaining about the heat of the sun in Los Angeles!
Well, somewhere along my life, I learned to work in the yard and enjoy it. Just the other day I found myself working most of the day in the garden--and loving it. Then it dawned on me that I have not been able to do this for years. Losing 60 pounds of blubber has made a lot of difference in my life. I still have several arthritic aches and pains, but they are sufficiently diminished when I am not carrying around that 50+ pound sac of potatoes. The pillow that prevented me from bending to the ground has not disappeared, but has sufficiently shrunk so that I can reach down and plant pansies without cutting off the circulation to my vital organs.
Since we have just recently moved into our Lakewood home, even though there are yet boxes everywhere we look and try to walk, I have spent an inordinate amount of time tinkering in the yard. I guess Barbara appreciates the fact that I am doing something, so she doesn't get on my case to remove more of these boxes. We both agreed that planting a Black Mission Fig was of high priority. So that was the first purchase at our local nursery.
The talkative old duffer (imagine me calling anyone old!) who helped us, picked out a nice tree, already about 4 feet tall with lots of buds and nascent leaves. I had soaked the featured circle of the landscape for the occasion. Then I turned over several shovels of forest compost in this location. That was where I planted the fig tree. I watered it into place. And, I kid you not, the next day the leaves jumped out. It has been looking bright and enthusiastic ever since. When Barbara came at my invitation to inspect the tree, she said, "It looks happy!" I can't think of a better description. We have a happy black fig in our yard, and someday we expect it to make us happy with its fruit.