March Slice of Life No. 27.
Spring after spring, our very old pear tree is like a gigantic fragrant bouquet.
Then after the blossom petals have dropped, tiny perfectly shaped green pears begin to appear.
By the end of June, we are scanning its branches to see if the harvest will be big or little. It is always relative to the how heavy our spring rains were while it was blooming.
One year we put a bottle over a small pear to see if we could “grow a pear in a bottle.” We watched it for a while. But life got busy and we forgot about it. Then on a cold, almost winter evening, we remembered it. The pear had rotted in the bottle.
During the last days of summer, the days that are dry and hot without a breath of a breeze, a sweet fruity aroma hovers over our yard. It is the smell of autumn. Of pears ripening.
It has been years since anyone has eaten the pears. Instead, squirrels and birds take bites from the fruit while it still hangs in the tree. Sometimes, when a squirrel takes a bite, the pear will fall with a thud and the squirrel will scamper off. Most of the pears simply fall to the ground. Yellow and golden then rotting brown. Wasps gather in hordes for a syrupy feast. They rarely bother us when we don our gloves and carry buckets to gather the rotting fruit from the ground. It is as though they are intoxicated.
This summer the old pear tree will be taken down. Large branches fell from it this past year. It’s trunk is rotten. It is unsafe.
I will watch it bloom one more time this spring, but I will not gather its fruit again.
It is the way of life.
What a beautiful descriptive slice. I have never seen pear blossom before, lots of other fruit trees but not pears. You describe it so well. We used to buy pears in boxes when our kids were little and preserve them, they lasted the whole year and everyone loved them. Your last two lines describe that so well….all in the past now! Goodbye, tree!
Alice, this is like a bookend to my woods slice. I am inspired to write another tree story.
A picture book like slice. Sad ending. Inevitable though. A reminder of cycle of life.
Thank you, Terje. I like the idea of “picture book.”
From the blossom to the fruit to the cutting down, this slice really catches the way of life – the tree’s place in your life, the growing and rotting in the bottle, the role of the creatures. It all works together to create a beautiful slice. Thanks!
Thank you, Amanda. This is such a beautiful reflection.
I remember an apple tree our neighbor had . It was always interesting watching them go from blossom to fruit.
I mark the seasons watching them.
Your post reminded me about the pear tree we had in our backyard when I was young. It flowered prettily in the spring but bore little fruit. The scent is with me as I write this. Thanks for the memory. It’s hard to let things go, isn’t it.
It has such a unique scent. I will miss it in the late summer.
I always feel a twinge of guilt cutting down anything in nature, even if it is rotting…
There’s always a longing and a relief when it’s over; a bitter-sweetness if you will. You’ve captured that so well in your post.
I even hate to pinch off my violets when their blooms are done (potted plant).