For several years, we’ve had a lemon tree in our balcony. I don’t quite remember when it was planted. My guess is that it’s been with us for over fifteen years.
One of the oldest plants in our balcony, it had spread its branches wide. It occupied a lot of space, but not our attention. Not for the right reasons anyway. And like a child seeking affection, it tried to make its presence evident. Every time we went near it to hang the clothes out to dry, it would scratch our hands with its thorns.
Apart from the scratches, the only time the lemon came into our conversations was when our neighbour’s lemon would bear fruit. In its entire lifetime, ours never bore fruits.
My dad brought some fertilizers on the recommendation of our green-thumbed neighbour. Those chemicals were apparently for making the tree bear fruit. But that didn’t work. And so we gave up.
Perhaps it would never flower. It wasn’t supposed to be in a flowerpot anyway. It belonged to the earth. And so we began contemplating getting rid of the tree.
But we couldn’t bring ourselves to uproot it.
We heard our own voices, and it sounded like disappointed parents thinking about throwing their child away. Thankfully, my father refused to throw it.
As if expressing joy at my father’s faith, the following year, the tree surprised us with two small flowers. But that was it. The flowers fell off without turning into fruits.
Last year, a towel got caught up in the thorns of the lemon. Nothing unusual, except this time, the cloth caused our lemon flowerpot to fall and break. We quickly transferred the plant to another flowerpot. But the damage had been done. A few days later, the leaves dried up. Two weeks later, the tree was gone.
For many months, the leafless frame of the tree stood in the flowerpot, showing no sign of coming back. My father refused to clear it out. It would return, he said.
But my mother and I had no such expectations. We’d pretty much begun ignoring the remains of the tree.
Until a few weeks back.
The brown branches were beginning to wear a green coat, with tiny leaves peeping out from underneath the wooden blanket—after a long long winter’s slumber, the lemon was springing to life.
Whether or not it flowers again, it doesn’t matter. We’re just happy to have our lemon back.
The image featured in this post is my entry for this week’s Photo Challenge : Rule of Thirds. Check out more imagery at the Daily Post.
PS: I recently completed four years on WordPress 😀