|Photo courtesy of Sue Jarrett as pinned on Pinterest|
As I stood by the brown marbled counter top slicing the avocado I couldn’t help but to laugh. In fact I started to laugh so hard I knew it best to put the knife down and just let the laughter out.
“I think this is an avocado tree. Yeah it looks like it to me,” said the sixty something looking man with a long white beard that donned more hair than his pink bald head. He circled the skinny tree that was no more than seven or eight feet away from me, slipping lightly into the street, and then stepping back onto the hot sunny cement. He poked at the tree and looked at me and further shared his guess at what the tree was. I waited there unmoved by the man or what I summed up to be a fading healthy state of mind, mostly curious as to what kind of tree he’d guess it was next. Before the avocado he thought it was a mango tree. “They really should name these things you know,” he continued. I nodded and smiled. It does have a name I thought, we just didn’t know it. And I was certain, given no fruit, no mango, no avocado, was hanging from it, that it was named for the fruit it was not bearing.
The man was such a tall curious fellow, poking, and prodding that skinny tree. He must have guessed a dozen names before the trolley which I was waiting for came. Each guess, one that had we seen the fruit, I’m sure we’d be able to confirm. And well I don’t think the town of Media has a habit of planting any type of fruit trees along the sidewalks of its main street; you know a tree by the fruit it bears. I think we know people the same way too.
|Photo courtesy of Buzz Feed.com as pinned on Pintersest|
If you’re new to the blog or haven’t gathered it from past posts, my faith is very important to me and shapes the ways in which I view many things and guides the way I live…most of the time. Sometimes I make lifestyle decisions that are 100% Ahyana J. King. One of the things my faith teaches is that you know a thing, or a person, by the fruit it bears. It’s a pretty simple idea. Faith or no faith I think most of us can agree that we usually categorize, utilize, and believe things to be by that which they produce. We don’t think of Nordstrom as a hardware store because that’s not what it sell, or produces. We think of it as department store specializing in personal fashion. We don’t know Apple to be a sporting goods entity because that’s not what it sells or produces. Maybe an app for sporting goods, or other means by which we access sporting goods, but Apple is electronics and technology, that’s what it produces.
So what about us? What are we known for producing? And better yet what happens when we’re not producing what we know ourselves to produce?
Slicing the avocado when to chopping, along with chopping several other ingredients in order to make a fresh bowl of guacamole. I reached for the tortilla chips, decorated them with the guacamole, poured a glass of wine, took a seat and pondered not my tree naming fellow but the conversation I had with my aunt earlier. The conversation where I confessed that I was not bearing fruit.
The day started different than other days. Bad news didn’t wait until post noon; it greeted me shortly after 9am, after I’d finished a series of phone calls addressing bad news from the day before. I wasn’t angry, pouting, or whining. I didn’t cry unfair, in fact I didn’t cry at all. I was scared though. I was scared and so I sat for a while before I called my aunt and told her I was scared. I couldn’t think of a single think to snap me back into managing the newest reality. I didn’t have the energy to move. There wasn’t a single creative light bulb do this to lighten the mood bounce back creative problem solution in me. The longer I sat andtried to muster something, I couldn’t remember the last time I did anything that was creative, not the way I knew myself to be creative. Sure at the office I came up with a catchy program title here, picked an eye catching image for an advertisement there, did a little feng shui there, managed to pull a work appropriate but oh so Vogue Street Style or Pinterest worthy outfit here, but that creativity that I knew myself to thrive on and to consistently put out into the universe- gone. Was I an avocado tree? Or a mango tree? What was I? I wasn’t bearing fruit to speak to my identity.
|Photo courtesy of Crystal Moore as pinned on Pinterest.com|
“So what scares you?’ my aunt asked. And I told her “That I am losing myself. That I am here but I’m dying. The real me is disappearing.” I almost choked on the words but it was true. We talked for an hour or so as I talked about my fruitless self. “But Ahyana the hope lies in you knowing something isn’t okay. It’s because of your awareness that you won’t let things get too far gone. “
Her words were hope watering a parched tree- me. A good gardener knows what its trees need in order to thrive and bear fruit. It knows when the fruit should be evident and bloom and when it shouldn’t. They know when to prune or cut back so that in due season the tree can bear fruit. “I think you need to slow down and cut back. You just keep going, trying to do what you know is right and it’s not working. Let things be for a bit Ahyana.” This lady had lots of good words to offer.
Here’s the deal, if your life isn’t bearing fruit something is wrong. Period. If you know yourself to be something- a writer, designer, lyricist, educator, and that is not evident in your life, you’re not bearing fruit. Something is not right. Furthermore, there is a window of time to add health to dying plants. But then there is death. If you don’t stop and acknowledge the lack of fruit in your life, the lack of a life that speaks your identity, pronounces who you are to others, whether it’s your kids, spouse, boo thang, business partner, supervisor, etc. you will continue to not produce fruit and there will be death. It will be slow but it will come. Your relationships, your job, your business, your blog, your book in progress, they will disappear because you have allowed yourself to disappear.
|Photo courtesy of Lovely Life of Leah.com|
But if you can see that something isn’t quite right, that harvest season has come and you haven’t yielded anything, there is hope. You can assess what’s going on- the soil quality, lack of rain fall, pruning needed, and nurse the tree back to health. You can see if you’ve stopped being intentional about engaging in the things that nourish your soul and allow you to bear fruit and return to those things.
So, what kind of tree are you? What kind of fruit are you bearing or are the people in your life like the man guessing amiss because all he sees is a tree, but no fruit to speak to its identity?
|Photo courtesy of Jenna Stubbs|