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Eulogy for a Peach Tree
'Yesterday (August 11), when I stopped on my way home to observe the fruit, the once-vital leaves that were once suspended at a jaunty angle on branches of this tiny tree were hanging limply downward, their glossy green blackening from callously sprayed poisons.' - JOYCE COOMER
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By Joyce M. Coomer
To those who truly respect the Earth and mourn the needless and untimely deaths of any living thing, I wish to tell a story of unforgivable loss that occurred this week.
In March of this year, along the roadside one morning I noticed a bright pink speck. I turned my vehicle around and retraced my route slowly so I could hopefully identify that spot of pink. It was one of several blossoms on a spindly tree that had green leaves just beginning to emerge. These vibrant pink blooms brightened my mornings for several days, and I often stopped to watch them sway in gentle spring breezes.
I observed this small tree throughout the spring and most of this summer as the leaves fully emerged, glossy green and healthy, sometimes stationary, other times bouncing merrily in a brisk wind.
Fruit appeared. A fruit with which I was unfamiliar. A fruit growing on the tips of the boughs, something I had not seen before and something I could not find in exploration of numerous sources of reference.
The fruit grew, slowly but surely. A fortnight ago, I noticed a faint blush of pink appearing on this once dull green fruit. The fruit grew a little more and began to resemble a peach. What kind of peach, I did not know, but I stopped daily to note any minuscule growth and further deepening of the pink hue. I wondered when the fruit would be ripened fully and would offer an opportunity to partake of its flavor.
This past weekend, I noted that the pink tint had deepened to a pink nearly the brightness of the springtime bloom. I stopped morning and evening to observe the minute changes in the color and size of this fruit. As the pink tone hadn't deepened noticeably since Sunday past (August 6), I decided to descend the steep roadside bank, take photographs and check the ripeness of the fruit this weekend.
Alas, that excursion is not to be.
Yesterday (August 11), when I stopped on my way home to observe the fruit, the once-vital leaves that were once suspended at a jaunty angle on branches of this tiny tree were hanging limply downward, their glossy green blackening from callously sprayed poisons.
That beautiful little tree will not bloom next spring. There will no bright spots of pink on the roadside. There will be no fruit for anyone to sample.
The loss of this small tree will mean nothing to those who believe it is their right to indiscriminately eliminate things they dislike and who care not that in the process they defile this wonderful planet. They did not appreciate the beauty of this diminutive tree, nor will they ever wonder about the flavor of its fruit.
As for me and my heart, mourning for this wonder of God will last many years. I will see the gap in the fencerow, the lack of color against the shade of the woodland, the missing sheen of light on the leaves . . . and mourn.
Joyce M. Coomer
This story was posted on 2017-08-12 12:18:16
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