The wooden gates with the giant red glittery bows open slow as our car rolls down the narrow dirt driveway. On each side, we pass rows of citrus trees. Orange and yellow balls hang profuse like a child who decorates the Christmas tree and hangs too many ornaments on branches to weigh them down.
“Are those real,” my children ask from the back seat. “Can we eat those oranges?”
Nine years ago, we leave our house in central Phoenix to move to the East coast of North Carolina. Our back yard, a former citrus grove, lines full with orange and grapefruit trees. Harrison is too young to remember. But Murielle recalls the fresh orange juice her Dad made from that low hanging fruit. She was only six years old.
So much fruit laying on the ground and rotting that we couldn’t eat it all fast enough. Had to throw bags of it away. Full brown paper bags often sit in yards, at the end of driveways with signs that read, “FREE, TAKE SOME” to passersby.
Now when we purchase a pomegranate, spend what seems like gold for that one beautiful claret colored ball of juicy seeds, my husband recalls stories from childhood. How pomegranate’s blanket the ground in Phoenix and he eats them whenever the mood strikes. That paying for them now seems strange.
In Rwanda, the most luscious giant avocado’s hang from trees like the citrus in Phoenix. Every bite is a delicacy and they laugh at my expression of joy over a ripe avocado I eat like a steak dinner on my plate.
As Harrison peels the orange he pulls off the tree, I think about how our gifts – the low hanging fruit that blossoms profuse in our lives – can be taken for granted.
The way a single voice leads a congregation before the throne of Christ. How someone tells a story that transports the mind to another place and time. When someone runs like the wind up a mountain free and easy. A meal prepared by hands of love that satisfies the stomach and feeds the soul.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” ~John 15
May we all give thanks for the gifts he gives freely – the low hanging fruit that we take for granted- as we approach the coming of Christmas.
Linking with Emily to unwrap the simple gifts He gives in the everyday of life over at Chatting at the Sky.