Shirin McArthur

prayerful pondering

Birds and Buds

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We have a fruit tree near the front of the house. When we moved in I thought it was an apple tree, but a plant professional friend of ours says it’s an apricot. Our first spring here it blossomed prolifically, but no fruit ever appeared. At this point I cannot recall if we had a late frost, but I do know others in the area had plenty of apricots on their trees. I thought it more likely that the tree was suffering from malnutrition, since I made no time to feed it, and doubt that the ill and elderly prior occupant of our home had been feeding it, either.

bird in apricot treeThe first buds are blossoming on the apricot again this year, and I really need to make time to purchase and apply some fertilizer. But there could be another reason why the tree did not fruit last year. I was sitting in our prayer/meeting room the other day, looking out the window, and saw finches eating the flower buds.

At the time I was on the phone with someone, and I remember laughing out loud when I made the connection. My mind was busily considering whether I could put some sort of net over the tree to prevent at least the inner buds from being eaten, and it crossed my mind, “Well, you can attempt to control the situation, or you can let nature take its course.”

I’ve already decided that I will attempt to control a small, enclosed vegetable garden we’re constructing on the west side of the house. We’ve bought netting so it can be completely enclosed, which might mean that we can harvest tomatoes and raspberries later this year. But I cannot control everything on this 6.5-acre property. In fact, we’ve decided to let nature take its course on most of this land. The apricot tree literally stands on that border between field and front yard. Perhaps I will let the birds have first crack at the apricots, at least this year.

What in your life are you striving to control? Is it appropriate? Are there places where you might need to step back and let nature take its course?

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