Monday, October 27, 2008
You Never Know
J~ and I took a whirlwind trip to the Gulf Coast recently, to the island of Port Aransas, Texas, a place we never expected to find ourselves swimming, walking, doing yoga on the beach, or attending the wedding of J~'s old friend to his high school sweetheart, reunited after thirty years apart. A lovely story, made lovelier still by the gathering of good people who came together to celebrate the big day, and by the intention of the newlyweds to move their combined family to Hawaii. How nice, they urged their guests to think, that you now have friends to visit in Hawaii!
For weeks preceding this trip, I kept my nose to the grindstone, promising myself that upon our return, I would finally have, after many months with no such luxury, room to breathe.
Since then, with the exception of kale and collards, which don't mind a little frost, I've gathered in the remaining garden bounty: onions, beets, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, swiss chard, beans, plus several gallons of cold-hardy kiwis: olive-sized fruits with thin, edible skins, and a sweet, intense, kiwi flavor.
For many years I've told myself that when I finally had land of my own, I would grow this special fruit. It would be my first planting, a symbol of my intended bond with the land, a reinforcing statement that I was, after so many years of transient living, finally home. But to my surprise, as soon as I had settled in enough to wander this modest property, I discovered that previous owners had already done the honors: a thriving tangle of kiwi vine already bordered the yard, threatening to engulf a neighboring lilac, sending runners up a nearby pine. Stunned, I touched the unripe fruit tucked beneath the dark leaves. Here were my kiwis.
For the seven years J~ had owned this place, he had no idea this plant was anything more than a useless weed. To him, my discovery was a pleasant surprise. But to me, it was akin to finding a banner unfurled in the trees, declaringl in colorful block letters: "Welcome Home Amy!"
Just goes to show - you never know what life has in store for you.