To be crushed for the light,to fulfill this garden’s purpose,fruit must first grow to maturity.
The phenological two-month stages of the olive:
I. The Spring Bud:
a. Winter’s march goneb. A new stem yawnsc. Sprouting, unfoldingd. Fruits bud, floral clusters
a. Weeks strivingb. Just/only/perhaps 2% fertilizedc. Amid such waste, life bloomsd. Summer’s heat looms
a. The heat of summer culls a fallb. Fruit forms, flowers wilt, dance downc. Leaf sinks to leaf to soild. Survival, reproduction, toil
a. Most difficult phaseb. Photosynthesis activity reducedc. Heat rises, dries dust dry, the fruit greensd. Stomata close to conserve moisture
a. Veraisonb. Fruit takes colorc. Green or blackd. Maturation into diversity
a. Fully fleshedb. Hardened corec. Engorged with purposed. A gathering in service
Fruit milked like teats from branches–brown knowing fingers–the handling of jewels.
Fruit shook from trees–greedy machines grip trunks,shake treasure into nets.
A year of growth into being of use.
What passed for life this year?What did the groves hear?What did Gd whisper?What is this precious thing?
Born to be crushed for lighting.Cared for, prayed for, tended,to be crushed for lighting.
Life is but a flash in flesh, mere wind shapes youbruises you, hardens your core.
Will the olive whisper back:for whom is my lightI will never see?
As it is, I must burn.
This light is of my innermostand it will only comeof crushing me.
Image by João Campos.