A true fig story
If a Fig can do it, surely you can grow back too!
I love to look at my neighbor’s gardens: to see what they are growing or sometimes killing off. Occasionally, I have been known to take home the odd cutting or stuff some seeds in my pocket.
Down the block there was this wonderful fig tree that was in the front of a neighbor’s house. It generously bore abundant fruit and once in a while I admit I stole a sticky-sweet fig or two.
One morning strolling around the block, I froze in front of the house. The fig tree was gone! Only a bare stump rose from the ground in a spooky Halloween gesture. I stood speechless. “It was a beautiful fig tree, just a beautiful fig tree with sweet sticky fruit?”. I tried surreptitiously to see if it had been thrown in the backyard but there was no sign of the fig tree or its branches, leaves or its sweet, sticky figs. Nothing. I grieved for that tree.
“I stuck my hand deep into that cavernous garbage bin”
Then, on Friday, I was walking our two pugs early before taking my son to school. It was still dark and it was garbage collection day. And suddenly I saw it! A curling twig and leaf pushing out from the garbage bin ready for emptying – what was left of the fig tree and its sticky-sweet fruit was chopped in pieces and awaiting the landfill – not even for composting. Now it’s 6 am, dark and I have two pugs in tow. I stuck my hand deep into that cavernous garbage bin
I stuck my hand deep into that cavernous garbage bin and wrenched out what branches I could – expecting at any moment to be caught in the glare of a searchlight. I dragged the branches home entangled with dog leads, poop bags and fig bits. “Are you mad?”, my wife questioned and then asserted, “You are mad!”.
Well, I took those fig limbs and placed them reverently in pots of dirt. There wasn’t really much hope. They had dried up and been abandoned in the hot dry sun for a week or more. But I whispered to them and praised the promise of their sticky-sweet fruit.
Nothing happened. For months those bits of branches just sat there in the dirt looking like dead skeletons of fig branches. I was about give up. And then one day I saw this tiny little green finger coming out of a grey dead looking branch. A fig leaf! A brand new shiny green little fig leaf! I was ecstatic! It had come back! Now it has sprouted more than leaves; there, on this little plant are four beautiful sweet, sticky figs.
My take away? If a fig can do it, I am sure we can too. We might feel cut down, abandoned, left to dry up and wither. But with a little time, a little rest and some good dirt we can grow a little green shoot, and then grow back those leaves and yes, even offer some sweet, sticky fruit!