Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Orchard

Friday night falls softly and in the dusk I delight in my solitude. Dave is at work, the babes are in bed, my mom is at church. I wrap myself in my shawl, warm in the work of a friend's skillful hands, and head down to the orchard. I think I've dreamed this moment my whole life. There is something utterly magical about an orchard. The utopian scale of the individuality of the trees balanced with the consistent, predictable spacing. Our orchard has much personality with 16 different varieties of fruit. Trees bloom at random times, white, pink, salmon, cream. Grass and wild flowers surround the trees. The music of a fountain plinks close by.
As I wander, I remember.
The first time I saw this lot was when we looked at our house for the first time. Our house is on a slope and the road ends in a dead end. When we first saw it, it was a very dead end. A brutally murdered end. It was an empty lot overgrown with hideous weeds. Bumpy with potholes. Raccoons, wild cats, possums, made it their home. In the spring an occasional truck would 4-wheel though it, leaving our fence splattered and Dave boiling.
After we lived here for three years, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. We moved my mom and dad into the house next to the dead end lot. We wanted to be able to be near them, wanted to help. My dad died 5 days after they moved in. This left my mom alone with the dead end. That made me nervous. I talked to Dave about buying it (we had been told it was owned by the city). He agreed and went to work trying to prove to the city why it was necessary for them to sell us this lot.
He came home one day in a daze. The story, as he retold it, was ludicrous. He went to the city, was shuffled around to different people, and finally found someone who understood what he was talking about. The man looked up the lot and claimed that the city didn't own it, it was privately owned. Dave wanted the owner's information and the city man gave him an address of the people who owned the property.
It was our address.
That lot had, unknown to us, come with our house. We had owned it all along.
The pit at the end of the road has been transformed. It is full of life and beauty and nourishment.
It is redeemed.
All that time, it could have been more, we just didn't know it's possibilities.
Ownership made all the difference.
And now I walk in a petaled fairyland after a long trying week and I am praising the Lord because ownership has made all the difference to me as well.
I'm so glad I know who I belong to.

PS I know that "plinks" is not really a word, but don't you think it should be?

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