Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Signs of the times

The pommerac tree outside the spare bedroom window looks forlorn, hit by the legions of neighbourhood children armed with missiles and the vagrant that sleeps on the porch of the empty house. The fruit that only this morning weighed heavy, glistening red jewels amidst the acid green leaves, is mostly gone with a few stragglers left hanging on for dear life.

For weeks I have watched, as the first buds appeared, giving way to bright red spiked with yellow flowers that fell away to form little green nubs. Then slowly they grew into hard green globules until, one morning, the first sign of the red rush that grew to a crescendo over the weekend. Wishing that I'd not been too lazy to photograph the progress.

The luscious red, red fruit that drew birds who feasted upon the ripening flesh often leaving half eaten remnants, fuzzy white insides with the hard brown stone revealed. And of course, the neighbour children who sent the dog into frenzies of barking or on early morning occasion, a sulk that caused the pillows to be pushed around grumpily. He does not like his sleep disturbed.

In years gone by I too have raided the tree, at least when the house in unoccupied. It brings to mind childhood days spent raiding the fruit trees on the estate, sitting with salt and pepper and a book. Eating ourselves sick on the bounty of Pappy's land. All gone now, left only with memories of a different time.
This year, I never made it to the tree, it was nicer to watch the birds enjoy it, at night to hear over ripe fruit hit the ground. The tree provided an interesting tableau though not the smell of the fermenting fruit.

Today, after a long haul on the port, helping a friend who needed someone to wait in the car because of the parking situation, it struck me again how much time wasted in things that could so easily be accomplished if someone had the will.  The interminable wait for one set of documentation, one arm tanned from being in the drivers side, driving in traffic on Wrightson Road to the One Stop Shop. Another wait, my skin crisping up as though a day at the beach, fortunately the air conditioning was working. All that time that could have been spent making pommerac chow, emailing clients, playing with the dog, reading my book, just sitting in the car, waiting.

It neatly summed up my last few years working at my job. Always, waiting for something to happen, working, working, and yet, accomplishing little in the way of tangible results. Had we accomplished something, the three hours spent waiting today, would have been condensed into half an hour. Once again, no regrets at leaving. In the past I would have missed a lot of the pommerac tree action. And the little things in my neighbourhood. When did the little kid next door get so tall? When did my dog become old?

Stripping off my clothes today, I glanced through the window at the tree. Where were all the fruit? Gone, missed opportunity to taste the bounty, but at least the chance to enjoy the process of watching it happen. The times they are a changing.