I like to walk. On most days, I will take a walk because I like to listen to the birds singing and observe the nature around me. I get nervous and tongue twisted around people, and I generally fear what they may think of me, so going on a walk is a perfect time to spend alone. Spring is my favorite time to be out and about.
There is a path that I generally walk. Along this street, there is a particular house that I always notice and pay special attention to because I love the flowers and landscape. I am curious about all of the flowers around that house but especially the beautiful little tree out front that has gorgeous white and pink blooms and then lovely dark green and purple velvet looking leaves after that. I notice it particularly because it is so little. It beckons me.
This particular day, I am not walking by, but driving. I happen to have my camera in my car and as I’m driving by, the idea strikes me that I could go to the door and ask the person living there what type of tree it is and get permission to take a picture of it, so I could add it to my ideas for my own landscape. I argue with myself for a while because I’m shy and I wonder what will she think of a stranger asking about her yard?
I drive past her house.
Then, I stop and put the car in reverse and back up slowly to her front yard. Steeling my self composure, I get out and walk up to the front door and bring myself to knock.
(I can hardly breathe at this point.)
What a surprise when a friendly lady answers the door with her gardening hat on and gloves. I bring myself to tell her how I feel about her little tree and ask if she would mind me taking a picture of it. I will never forget her sideways grin and broad smile! “Well, heavens yes, my child. Thank you so much for the compliment. Come on out and have a look at it. It’s a dwarf ornamental peach tree. It will not get any taller than 4′ – isn’t that amazing?”
I follow her to the tree and *snap* I take a picture of it. I’m feeling really good because I can tell that she is so delighted to have someone interested in her tree.
Then, the best part comes.
She looks at me with a sneaky little grin and says “Say, you wouldn’t like to have a starter of this tree, would you?”
I gush and say yes, of course. She takes me to the side of her house where she has a tiny little seedling of tree. She explains all about the little plant to me and tells me how to take care of it. I get a lesson on all sorts of plants that she has. The little gardener in me was so excited and happy scooping up all this wonderful info.
As I am walking back to my car holding that little seedling, I feel so glad that I took the chance to stop and knock. I smile with pride, excitement, and wonder. I admire it’s tiny little leaves. I imagine it fully grown and visualize the years in between.
I am so glad that I took the risk of looking crazy to a stranger and smile with the knowledge that now I have a new friend. We spent quite a bit of time talking that day and I often wonder how she is doing. Now, seven growing seasons later, I wonder how she is. I should take a picture of the full grown tree today and take it to her. Or better yet, invite her over to see.