Friday afternoon, we planted a new tree in our front yard. Ever since our city-owned Norway maple dropped a huge limb across the street this summer, I’ve wanted to make up for the loss. So we are now the proud parents of a persimmon sapling, which will (we hope) bear some tasty fruit in three to four years.
It seems a fitting way to begin the fall season—and a fitting way to mark the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, which began Sunday evening and continues until sundown tonight.
Planting a tree suggests many metaphors, for life, for abundance, for repairing our world. On a more personal level, I just happen to be a tree lover. The variety of species, alone, never ceases to amaze me or to remind me of the incredible diversity that makes our world so exquisite. Our persimmon has smooth, shiny green leaves that will turn a deep orange later in the season. When mature, it will reach ten to twelve feet in height and crown diameter.
Soon enough it will be whipped by wind and snow, but our landscaper, who specializes in sustainable, edible plantings that are appropriate for our region, assures me that it will sprout stronger roots in response to whatever fall and winter bring. So I will soak it twice a week and undoubtedly worry if the weather turns harsh and watch it adapt and grow.
It’s hard to believe that such a thin stalk will provide shade and food in a few years. But the act of planting a tree is an act of hope. And so, Dear Reader, whenever and however you mark the year’s turn, take heart. And consider planting your own tree.