The Last to Offer

The pear tree in my front yard is bare. Spindly red branches stick straight up out of brown branches, looking like a tree from a Tim Burton film.

Throughout the semester, it had been a perfect circle of green leaves and pears. Even into the fall, a multicolored spectrum with green pears dominated my front yard.

Now, the leaves are all on the grass, or in the ditch, or flown away with the wind. All, but one pear, who dares to stay on the tree. It is the last fruit the tree has to offer before the winter.

It is also the last I have to offer. I have worked too far, too hard, too long. My leaves have all fallen off. The fruits have been picked one by one. You never bore any fruit over the summer, I’ve decided. There was nothing I could take – no delicious apricots, no juicy apples, no scrumptious oranges. It’s been a one way trail.

Sadly, after this pear has dropped, I will have to give up. Shed my leaves to prepare for a new season. Let’s see how long the last pear lasts on the tree.

Hide and Seek

Today, I had to take two of my siblings to a park to play. A park – in the middle of the desert? Green grass, trees, shade, playground and swing, full of kids having fun? In the desert? I went, and it was pathetic. Little less than an acre, a few trees, a set of swings and a slide with accompanying monkey-bars. Fun? No.

So, as I sat on the swings, watching my two siblings try and have fun, I remembered the wonderfully large and fun park near college. My roomies and I would go there barefooted and release our inner-child. No such luck here. I moved to the picnic table under the shade and opened my book. My eyes never focused on the pages.

My two siblings were doing tricks on the monkey-bars. I looked at the trees, most too limpy or too high to climb. Then, I saw one. With the first spot to climb at 6 feet, it would be tricky, especially with that rough texture of bark, especially in flip-flops. But, then again, as a child, I was an expert at climbing trees. I went over and grabbed on to the lowest branch, standing on my toes to reach it. I jumped, reached higher, and jumped again, climbing up as if I were on a coconut tree. Once I got settled, I relaxed. This was more like it. I love being in trees – up high, wind blowing, becoming one with nature.

My siblings came over to where I was sitting and couldn’t see me. I watched them with a smile as they tried to look around for me. I took off a flip-flop and through it toward them. They saw it land and looked over to the trees, expecting me to pop out from behind one. They still couldn’t see me. I through the other one, now balancing on the tree barefooted. It hit my sister, she went over to where it was thrown, still looking at the ground level. My brother, however, caught on and saw me. Finally, my sister saw me too.

I laughed. Unwittingly, I had started a game of hide-and-seek, long ago unfinished. As a 12 year old, I hid in a tree with fall leaves, while wearing a maroon and gold shirt (my jr. high colors) and was never found during hide and seek. Now, with a hint, I was finally found in a green tree, while wearing a green shirt. I started to have fun. My brother climbed up. I helped my sister up.

But, as I got down, I was terribly scratched and pierced by numerous splinters. Hide and seek was over.

Summer Break

I have always disliked summer break…swimming, pool parties, beaches, barbeque, sleepovers, lazy days, library adventures, they are all done within the first few weeks. After that, what else is there to do?

This past year I have had the roughest school year yet – not only with classes, which, while very exciting and interesting, where a challenge to keep up with, but also with also issues. Social issues with friends and roommates, mental issues, family issues, etc. I gave the whole year 150% effort – grades (succesful), working out (mostly succesful), and trying to fix a few broken friendships (not so succesful).

Summer. Brand new start for me. I love starting anew, it fills me with hope, courage, determination, and exciting for what’s to come. I have 10 more days, and I have not started over.

Studying Welsh has been inconsistant, I cracked open my novel’s notebook once or twice, working out has given way to sleeping in. A few things have worked out – scripture reading has improved, and I have started to mend the broken bridges, and of course, I have been working almost every day for Wales and next semester of school.

But really what this summer has been for me is a break. A break from everything. A break from trying. A break from stress. A break from expectations. Although I may not like it on a day to day basis, thinking I should be doing or working on things I’ve lazily decided not to, I’ve come to realize it’s ok.

It’s ok. Break time. Enjoy the summer. Relax. Be lazy. Have fun. Don’t stress.

But then again, I only have to keep myself from tearing my hair out for another week and a half until my life stops being on pause.

History is My Home

I miss Virginia. I have always wondered why. Is it becuase I grew up there? From fifth grade to graduation? Is it becuase the best friends and memories of my childhood were made then? Is it becuase of the beauty of the green and the amount of plentiful trees and sparkling rivers and lakes?

Or is it the history?

Watching one of my favorite shows, Liberty’s Kids, I am amazed and nostalgic when the opening song plays. True, its a cartoon and can never do justice to reality, but the colonial culture in which it presents sparks something.

I never really enjoyed American history as much as world history or especially European history. But, after shadowing an American history teacher this semester, and watching the new History Channel series, America: the Story of Us, I realize, I do love the colonial history of America.

Maybe that is why I miss Virginia so much and wish to move back. Not only does the nature inspire me, but the history that brings it alive is what pulls me back: Jamestown, Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, Yorktown, DC, civil war battle sites, etc. I love the history, I love how Virginia brings it alive. I want to immerse myself in it. And I will. I would love to move back to Virginia, move back to the beautiful, peaceful state that is in every way representative of America! History is my home!

High Moral Standards

A friend from work was revealing to me all the reasons he liked me: cute, smart, funny, kind, high moral standards…

Wait. High moral standards? Wow, he noticed that? More than noticing, he cared about it enought to mention it? Wow. That’s why he likes me? Becuase of that little part in my life that I have always taken for granted growing up in my church?

I smiled when he said that last night.

I am still smiling.

I want to take what he said and improve on it. I have been lacking a bit. I could do better in what I say and do. I could do better in my daily scripture reading. I should do better – I will do better.

If that small comment can affect me this much, make me smile and lift my self-esteem? And then take it and improve on it? Who else will notice? How will I feel about myself?

Thank you so much. You don’t know how much those small, plain words meant to me.