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Peach Tree

It’s early July.

My peach tree is full of fruit.

I harvest fruit each day,

hoping to beat the squirrels and birds.

I place half-eaten

and damaged peaches

on the fence as an offering,

hoping to appease the wild creatures.

I’ve learned to cover the peaches

with plastic clam shell containers

and plastic produce bags from the store.

They protect some of the fruit.

I’ve also come to harvest peaches

before they are fully ripe,

in another effort

to best the squirrels.

But there is always a possibility

there will be peaches on the tree one day,

and after a night of squirrel revelry,

none left in the morning.

I feel panic arising,

a fear that all the watering, fertilizing,

spraying and pruning

will be for naught.

On the other hand,

the four weeks of harvest

can yield hundreds of peaches.

More than I can eat, freeze or share before they rot.

Peach harvest time is a mixed bag.

I look forward to it all year.

I love juicy, fresh peaches.

It is why I planted the tree.

I had no idea how the peach tree

would challenge me.

How it would highlight my fear

of not enough, and too much life to handle.

My desire to not be at the mercy

of actual life as it unfolds

tells me to just go to Trader Joe’s.

Peaches are abundant all summer in wooden boxes.

Still, I want to learn the lesson of the peach tree.

Do what you can to enjoy what you love,

And accept that you can’t know

what tomorrow or the next season will bring.

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