Sunday, February 23, 2014

Be The Orange


See that? 

That's an orange. Back about 50 or 60 years ago, this entire area was nothing but orange groves. As far as the eye could see, there were lush, green groves of fruit bearing trees giving bushels and bushels of succulent, juicy oranges.

Eventually progress, with it's steam roller powered by development money and billboards promising safer suburbs, mowed under almost all of the groves. Housing developments, big box stores, and gas stations replaced the quaint grove houses and fruit stands. The only signs that an orange grove ever existed here is the errant orange trees that sometimes spring out of the landscape in rows twos and threes. The last orange grove stands across from the Wall to Wall Mart behind a fading "For Sale" sign, a decrepit grove house with broken windows and peeling paint standing guard over row after row of dying trees enrobed in Spanish moss like the elderly at the nursing home. 

That little orange up there? Grew from a single seed that was defecated out the rear end of a bird. The sapling grew over the last year and a half despite the interference of landscapers, peeing dogs, and digging squirrels. The same sapling is covered in vines and weeds that daily try to drag the supple branch back down to the Earth. It has been crowded. It has been shunned. It has had absolutely NO HELP, yet here it is. An orange, saying kiss my peel to a world that has forgotten and written it off. Growing, in the face of EVERYTHING that has said "NO! You cannot exist here. You have been usurped from your place in this realm and no longer have a viable bookmark in the tome of life.", this little hero of the citrus world stands out among all the other trees who grow tall and strong, shadowing it in their stance.

I admire this orange. When I saw it, I saw a kindred spirit. Growing in the shadows of others, being told I am no longer relevant, I feel this orange's place significantly. I want to be this orange, thumbing my nose at the world that has tried to leave me behind, undervaluing my opinions and worth. We could all learn from this tenacious little plant. To quote a rather funny movie, "Never give up. Never surrender." This orange and it's tree haven't given up...

And neither will I. I started something this past weekend and I'm going to see just how far I can go with it. Just like the orange, when I start feeling the squeeze, that's when I'm gonna spit a seed at the world and show just how tenacious I can be!

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