It has been unseasonably warm and my peach tree started blooming this week. I want to shout, “Wait, go back, bloom in April.” I know that early blooms are risky – because a heavy frost can kill the buds and there will be no peaches this summer. We are almost 2 months from our average last frost in Denver. The forming fruit can withstand a light frost, but not sustained cold.
But I can’t live in fear of frost – because there is nothing I can do to hold back the blooms. Even if it was a regular year and the blooms didn’t come until April, a late cold snap could still kill the budding fruit, or not. Such is the risk of gardening.
Sending out any kind of new flowers or new growth is risky. The tender shoots of friendship that I show to a neighbor might be accepted and returned, or not. Love extended to a friend or family member can be warmly received, or ignored. A frosty reception can kill the tender buds of my effort.
Yet still I decide to push forward to new growth – in my closest circles and further out. Risking rejection, but knowing that if I stop growing and connecting in community with others, I am indeed dead.
So the peach tree responds to the sustained warmth and the blossoms open … an invitation to the bees to take the next step in the fruiting process.
And I choose to live in hope – for warmth and fruit this year – and if not this year, then next year.
Note on the pictures – the top image is from stock photography. The images in the text are from my peach tree today. It is hard to get pictures of my peach tree because the background is always another tree or house in my small urban garden. And I’m a writer, not a photographer.