This is what I was thinking this morning as I picked a few ripe figs off my young-ish tree.
Planting a fruit tree is one of the most hopeful and optimistic acts. You take something that looks like a twig. Sometimes there are a couple of lonely leaves atop the twig, but during bare root season at the beginning of the year, more often it’s just that slender sapling. You put it in the ground with compost and water and tend it for months before anything happens. Often you feel a bit the fool caring for what might be a dead thing. But before you know it there are thin, soft, light green leaves which eventually thicken, get darker, bigger and then there are new twig-limbs. And all of a sudden you see a bird perch in your sapling. That’s the first sign that others recognize it as a tree.
Then seasons go by and you wonder if it’s all a great joke because you certainly haven’t seen any fruit. Then the next year, right before you decide to pull up the recalcitrant limbs there they are. Little orbs start to show beneath the flowers. Now you’re on the fast track. Every season you get double the fruit. First 4 than 8 then 16 then all of a sudden 20 then 50. Patience and optimism have literally borne fruit.