The Wisdom of Fruit Trees
If there is one thing you should do for your children - and your grandchildren - it's plant a fruit tree.
Planting fruit trees means we are thinking about life on this planet 10, 20 years from today.
We are considering the nature and the nourishment of our future generations.
And caring for fruit trees is rather like caring for children, too.
We have inherited an orchard of dozens of trees that were planted many, many years ago. We've learned this past year the quiet zen and patience it takes to care for them: they don't simply grow & bear fruit. They require special TLC in every single season; they require constant attention and observation.
And still, perhaps, they will bloom in the spring; and by midsummer, disease will set in without warning. By the time it does, it's too late - and you have to wait until next season to try again. You watch all of the fruit you were dreaming to eat, rot on the vine. Patience, patience, patience.
Sometimes the tree requires cutting down to save the health of the orchard.
Sometimes it requires taking off fruit - the fruit you worked so hard to grow - so that it will still produce next year, too. Always thinking of the future, the next season, the next harvest.
This is a foresight and a reverence we have lost. I've talked about it before; the irony that we declare world's-end for a seasonal virus when actual sterility & the end to human reproduction hurtles towards us just a few decades away. As Dr Zach Bush says, we've lost the ability to plan - or care - for something so far beyond our current distraction.
"But if we are to go into the next great extinction, let us go in with eyes wide open."
The Native Americans (among other peoples and cultures) base their decisions now on the impact to their progeny seven generations out.
There is a certain hopefulness in planting and caring for fruit trees. The optimism that we will exist (as a species) ten, twenty, thirty years from now.
The same optimism as having a baby during these times.
To plant fruit trees, and to have babies, is to keep the spirit of human existence alive.
It is to go into the future with eyes wide open.