fruit-bearing trees

It’s incredible how a mundane activity can carry so much weight and significance. Much like Eve from the garden of Eden, one of my issues can be directly traced back to picking fruit.

There is something ethereal about picking fruit from a tree. Picking fruit is easy – anyone of any age can do it as long as they have the coordination of their fingers. There’s not much thought that goes into picking fruit, you kind of just go for it. That’s how I wish I could live my life. Instead, I have to process every moment, every action, every scene and decide how to react, act, or respond. That’s not the point of this, though.

Did you ever read ‘The Giving Tree’? It’s one of my favorite childhood books. Shel Silverstein is a literary genius, and I am forever grateful that he was talented enough to convey such beauty to children. It’s not easy to talk to children in a meaningful and digestible way. Life’s like fruit; some are hard to peel, to bite, to eat. We all have our preferences.

One of my earliest memories as a child can be traced to the age of around 4 or 5. My nanny would take me on walks every so often and teach me how to pick fruit from a tree. I was so small, and looking up at the jam-packed branches felt like staring at another universe. It wasn’t magical; I’d be bullshitting you if I said that. Honestly, it felt a little alienating. She’d pluck a guava and hand it to me as if it were her life savings. As soon as I took a bite out of it, she’d tell me it was full of worms. She taught me that seemingly innocent gifts could be malicious. Looking back, I realize she is the first person that broke my trust. There have been countless others since, but she didn’t have to start me off that young. I still don’t know how to trust. I may not remember her name, but I do carry that fear of trust with me.

Around the age of 5, I looked up at those pine-looking trees that aren’t pine trees and thought they bore fruit. It didn’t – it housed a nest. Whether or not it was my fault, I cannot remember. I do recall seeing a cracked egg on the ground. A goner. He didn’t even get the chance to get his trust broken. At least I did.

At the age of 20, I flew to Los Angeles with my friend for spring break. We stayed at an Airbnb in Santa Monica – a beautiful neighborhood with homes in a style I’d never seen before. There was one orange tree in the backyard. During the five days that we were there, my friend would sleep in while I walked my dog. I’d try to pick an orange from the tree every single morning, but I couldn’t reach the branches. I tried using a broom, random sticks, and rocks. None of it worked, and that made me laugh. Here I am, in a stranger’s backyard, trying to take their fruit that very clearly does not want to be taken. I respected that tree, and I’d like to think it respected me.

Eve fucked up by eating that apple. Whether it’s factual, a story, or a metaphor, I don’t care. I probably would’ve done the same. I don’t blame her. God and that snake shouldn’t have been testing her like that. Neither should my nanny have tested me. At least I can relate to the bible in one way.

Author: Maria Silvestri

A 22 year old trying to figure shit out.

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