Sometimes we learn lessons from teachers. Sometimes we learn persimmon lessons.
The fruits we bear
The persimmon tree is a slight thing. Most years, the limbs —strong old-lady-finger things that look more delicate than they are— hold just the weight they can bear, bending in all directions under the weight of the dense fruit.
You mustn’t pick the persimmons early because, ick! They’re like sticky chalk on the tongue. So you watch the limbs bear their limit. Some mornings, you might find she released a few orange fruits on the ground. But she mostly carries the load.
Last year, 2019, Miss Persimmon had a crisis. We’ll never know the story of her heartache. The three or four (maybe many more) years prior, the tree was burdened, straining to hold the fruits. Then, ugh. Last year, unapologetically, “This is all you get. One persimmon and a bird’s nest.”
I haven’t been to the farm as often this year due to Covid, so I haven’t been following Miss Persimmons’s progress closely. But oh my gosh! When I visited mom and dad last weekend for dad’s birthday, this is what I saw. That’s the same (and a single) tree. And keep in mind you, they’ve already picked a few.
Metaphors and lessons
Metaphorically, more branches than we can shake a stick at in a post.
- She rested then she could?
- She felt embarrassed for the one persimmon so now she’s showing off?
- Persimmons and persistence?
- or maybe Persimmons on the dangers of persistence?
But let’s face it. This right here —the tree’s exuberance— is ridiculous. This year is ridiculous.
Whether she rested and now she can (when hardly anyone can!) in 2020 or whether she’s showing off just because it’s 2020, she overdid it. She bore more than she could carry alone, more than she should carry alone. In her exuberance to give, she found herself in desperate need of support.
Fortunately, mom and dad love her.
For me, the lesson is not about not giving. Giving is beautiful, but give what you can. Comfortably.
Or maybe the lesson’s about your support group? If you can’t self-regulate, if you can’t be reasonable, make damn sure you have a Mama and Papa Nick on your team to throw some support under your burdened limbs when you’re holding out your gifts.
Maybe the truth nugget is that my family needs to learn how to treat a persistent persimmon tree.
I’m not done chewing on this, but the lessons in the persimmon tree splay in more directions than I have the energy or capacity to explore in a blogpost.
Maybe one of those persimmon lessons speaks uniquely to you. If so, take it and sit with it. But don’t pick the fruit too early. Seriously. When it’s ripe it’s yum. But too early, just ick.
©Pennie Nichols All Rights Reserved 2020