When life slows, the slowing is revelatory, for in the slowing there is observation and communion. As I walk, I notice a pear tree at the edge of the road, solitary and majestic. Its fruit looks the worse for wear, and the tree itself seems to suffer, weeping dry tears for neglect and thirst. The only balm is the breeze which rustles its leaves in invisible empathy. As if encouraging me, a branch pushes lower and I realize I can reach the fruit. A pear almost falls into my hand, so anxious the tree seems to share itself with me. I cradle the fruit, a dying gift, in my hand and remember that what is now brick and mortar was once a life-sustaining orchard. The pear is evidence of the past, of what will never be again. I wonder what the sun-kissed flesh tastes like, but the mottled appearance gives me pause. I choose to preserve the moment rather than interrupt it with the spoilage of surprise so I let the pear fall into a pile of its expired brethren. It will now attract bees with its sweet fragrance and the cycle will begin anew. I give it communion with the dust.
I walk on.
Communion preserves without knowledge or consent.
Part of me will continue, one with the tree and the fragrance of pears, slowly rotting in the summer sun.
I think it’s sad when orchards and groves are cleared to make way for “progress.” I’ve seen several citrus orchards gutted in the past twenty years. Had I not been living here the whole time, I don’t think I’d recognize it with all the changes.