Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Inspiration Mondays on a Tuesday: If I Were a Tree

I stopped at a little farm market on the way home today to buy a pint of grape tomatoes to add to my daily vegetable snack (or bucket o' vegetables, as people have called it). It's my favourite place to buy tomatoes when they are in season. For me, a tomato that isn't in season is just a little bag of sour water. When they are in season, I eat them like their going out of style.

While I'm the market, I always cruise around to see what there is. Today, I saw these beautiful plums:


And yeah, sometimes I buy fruit because of their beauty first. Luckily, at a farm market, everything beautiful is also tasty!

When I got home, I got thinking about a video I watched a while back, about a tree that was grafted to bear forty different varieties of stone fruits. When I first read about it, my first inclination was to think, "Well, that's unnatural. Why would you do such a thing?"

But then I watched the video, and I realized that he wasn't doing it for fun, to experiment Franken-style on something he didn't understand. Instead, he was doing it to find a unique solution to saving trees that were becoming extinct. In a world where people just don't want to have space for stuff that doesn't grow "fast enough" or "long enough," he was finding a way to keep these things around, so we could better understand them, and to retain a diversity of plants that will likely save us from losing our fruit stocks if the intensive farms that only grow one kind of thing were to be destroyed.

Diversity is really the spice of life. If you only work on one kind of thing, grow one kind of plant, raise one kind of cattle, then if disease were to hit that one thing, you'd have no back ups. It has happened in the past, and will very likely happen again.

Earlier today, I talked to a man who has been suddenly struck by an illness that may prevent him from continuing his trade as a carpenter. And I wondered: will he find another way to grow? Another branch of himself that will help him to earn a living? I'm sad, but I'm hoping he will find a way.

And for myself, I feel truly that I am a jack of all trades and master of none. I used to get really depressed that I didn't have a passion, a THING that other people seem to chase their whole lives, but maybe that's not such a bad thing. If I were a tree, I'd bear at least a few different fruits. I never thought of it that way until now.

Food for thought.

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