D.L. Mayfield

living in the upside-down kingdom

fruit trees.

I read this quote the other day in a magazine, something about how the number one thing you can do to support local, organic eating habits is to plant your own fruit trees. How this enables you to feed generations--children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren--by simply planting a few trees. I read that quote, and it made me want to cry.

I am not the type to plant trees.

Growing up, we moved every three years. As an adult, this has hardly changed. We are preparing to move away, far away from friends and family, into smaller (and more low income-y) apartments, no deck, no grass, no yard. No place for roots to grow underground. I love aspects of being urban, how different it is from how I grew up. I am like a kid in the candy store when I think about the diversity of my new neighborhood, of my neighbors, at the prospect of living each day and not feeling like another isolated American.

But.

There is a part of me that wants to plant fruit trees. This is the same part of me that just up and decided that maybe I need more babies in my arms and that I could really use some built-in bookcases so I could amass a lending library of my own, a part of me that wants to contribute and give and be rooted and planted and think for the future, the long future, a future where my great grand-children eat peaches and cherries and apples that I lovingly watered. But I know that life isn't for me. I have been called to something else.

But I know a lot of planters, and am meeting more every day. The people who are supporting us, showering us with love, giving us down coats, target gift cards, tutu dresses for the baby. People that are planted, stable, long-term dreamers that can see the fruit of generations. I love these people, and their presence in the upside down kingdom cannot be overstated.

And I'm curious to know: what are you? Are you a planter, or have you been called to go?

This is all getting so crazy over here, us having to ask all our friends for help, being needy and vulnerable, full of excitement and urgency in the work we are off to do. And these people that are coming to us, these planters-of-fruit-trees, have what it is I am looking for in this world. They have imagination, they have the voice of the prophets in their ears, they live in the sticky ground of American capitalism and they give and they give and they give.

And I could just cry, it is all too good.

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