Regular readers of this blog will undoubtedly know about my love of any and all things citrus related. When I say ‘I’ what in fact I mean is ‘we’ (our family) but my citrus obsessions during my pregnancies reach skyscraper heights. In fact, I have known the last two pregnancies (with my middle and youngest children) that I was pregnant very early on, simply by walking through the produce aisle of the grocery and smelling oranges.
I do in fact ridiculously adore citrus, wear orange blossom perfume (my favourite is this one) and have a fairly dangerous Sumo orange addiction. Have I told you that I once spent an entire afternoon driving around Vancouver with my mother (who was visiting at the time) buying up all the stock of Fleur d’Oranger perfume and lotions; I had heard a rumour they weren’t going to be selling them anymore – and I panicked. I was even gifted all of the perfume sampler bottles, but mostly because I think the beauty ladies could see the desperation in my eyes. My poor mother. On the bright side, she did get to see a fair bit of Vancouver that day.
You may also remember that one of the things my darling husband said to lure us down to Texas was to promise to buy me a lemon tree. Always true to his word, he delivered. Not just any old lemon tree – a Meyer lemon tree. Meyer lemons are from China and are thought to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarine. Are you an orange or are you a lemon? What you are is delicious.
When we first bought our tree during the mild winter months of 2012, our neighbours assured us that by the following Christmas, our tree would be bearing fruit. Well, Christmas has long since passed and nary a fruit or any visible inkling of fruit has shown up on our tree. We’ve showered it with love, decorated it for Christmas with shiny bells…we’ve even re-potted it in a wonderful terracotta pot and planted tulips all around it.
Since then, I’ve been reading about people with Meyer lemon trees in Austin whose trees produce 500 lemons or more. Can you imagine that? I’d probably have to patent my Meyer lemon popsicle recipe and start a whole new business, wheeling popsicles around downtown. Hold that thought…
Here is our tree, as it stands today on a beautiful, breezy afternoon in March. It may not be bearing fruit now – perhaps it never will. In the end, it doesn’t really matter. Coming home to this delicate, tender tree will always symbolise, to us, how it has been for our family since we arrived: that life can be unexpected and surprising, and not always deliver an outcome in the way you’d once hoped. Growth can be slow, and steady…and strong.