To everything, there is a season, a birth, a life and a slow waning into death. I’d thought about this in human life, but this year, we are faced with the loss of several trees that we planted in our Orchard.
The above picture was taken a couple of years into the life of our finest Peachtree. It was Fritz’s favorite tree to sit under, and Greta’s as well. This tree produced hundreds of pounds of beautiful juicy peaches each year, and I made jam and Jack sold the peaches to farm stands.
The beautiful blossoms each year led to the full, ripe, juicy fruit a couple of months later. So beautiful to walk around the Orchard at this time of year.
This is just a small sample of the beautiful peaches we harvested. We always seemed to know when to pick them for the ultimate peach experience! And let me just say here and now, walking out my back door and picking a fresh peach off the tree and eating it, with the juice trickling down my chin, has been a real experience!
In the last few years, the tree began a slow decline. It didn’t produce as many peaches, and then we found that it simply was not setting the fruit it once did. For whatever reason, the tree kept showing it’s age. The bark had started to become rough and almost wrinkled looking, and fewer blossoms came onto the tree, thus we did not have the good crops as we did in previous years.
This Spring, the poor tree did not blossom out too much. This may well be its final year in the yard. There was quite a bit of dead wood on it, and Jack got out the chainsaw and cut it back.
There was such a sadness then. I remember planting that tree 20 years ago with Jack, as we built the house. I remember our first harvest and even a thunderstorm that tore off a limb early on.
But the tree was always there. Waiting for dogs to lie under it, or for us to come and harvest a ripe peach. I guess that’s why there is a sadness now as I start to think about cutting the tree down. The end of an era. The end of this good friends time.
Our Orchard has not just been about the fruit we have sold but about each and every one of the trees, their planting, their health, and their beauty. It’s really the first time I have felt connected to my fruit trees in this way.
Isn’t it funny how as we grow older, we begin to see the real importance of things in life? Beautiful trees, fresh fruits, and the calm their presence provide in our lives.
We’ll work to make you healthy again, dear Peach Friend. I hope we can. But if not, thank you for all these wonderful years.