This past October, when we were settling into our Texas home, I was thrilled to find an orange tree in our back yard.

When we purchased the house last spring, there wouldn’t have been any visible blossoms or fruits on this tree, and because these can’t be grown in my part of Canada, I would never have recognized the tree by the foliage alone.

As soon as I noticed the still green and barely starting to ripen fruit hidden beneath the leaves, I counted seven of them. It’s a good-sized tree, so I was a bit disappointed in the low yield. I’ve since learned that there will be a good crop every other year.

I watched and waited with mouth-watering anticipation for the fruits to turn from green to bright orange. As they were all finally ripening nicely, I was horrified one morning, to see an orange on the ground and partially eaten by birds (or other citrus-loving creatures … although I’m not sure what those would be). If there had been lots of oranges on the tree, I’d have been pleased to share, but now there were only six left. Would I get even one or would Mother Nature rob me of that joy?

One by one, the little crop fell (or was knocked to the ground by an over-zealous grackle).

Finally, there was only one orange left on the tree, and on December 7th, I picked it and cautiously tasted it. After all, I didn’t even know if this was an ornamental orange tree. It was sweet and juicy, and far exceeded my expectations.

My next post will be about the path of discovery I’m on, just because of that last orange.

Photo Note: Because we have LED lighting all throughout our house, the original photo of the segmented orange was very washed out. I edited brightness and contrast in Snapseed. Sometimes I get so excited to take a photo, I forget that natural light is always the best.

“The orange tree took time to create this masterpiece.”

Thich Nhat Hanh