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.