Bittersweet monologues : Hard call
When the morning came the old man had woken up light headed. He shook his head to recall the previous night. The dream of his first fruit still lingered and had taken him back to the day that he had eaten of the fruit that had given him the seed that had let him down.
Years had flown since he had eaten that fruit, more years had passed since he had planted the seed. More years had passed when he had been waiting for the seed to give him fruit. These had been the hope filled years. He had been happy to wait, until the fruit came forth sour .
His mind came back to the events of yesterday, no, to the event of yesterday . For the first time in many years he had been called by the clan name that he had proudly loved to hear nuanced before the sour fruit. For the first time he had someone approach the gate to his home without mocking and being derisive. The orchard owner’s son had come to invite him to meet their hard owner at their homestead .
After as much ceremonial delay as decorum would allow, the old man had taken to the path that led to the orchard owner’s homestead . He averted his face when he passed his orange tree and steadfastly looked aside. Yet the image of the piles of rotting oranges and shoots that had grown around the radius of the tree vividly retained in his mind. In as much as he wanted to forget that legacy there was no getting rid of that image. Birds of the air, stray chickens and all forms of rodents had found free food at the layers of rotten fruit and for all he cared they could even eat the tree…
As the orchard owner’s homestead came into sight, the old man became aware of the presence of many other people in the sidelines. It seemed the whole village was aware of his trip to the orchard owner’s homestead and they had positioned themselves to either cross his path at crossroads , pretending to be looking for stray cattle or seemingly going the same direction as he was.
Some thought struck him. Why was very one seemingly aware of this trip? Was the orchard owner setting him up for a fall? Were the people that he was seeing loitering along the pathways part of the gallery that was going to see his embarrassment? Was that the reason why the son of the orchard owner had been to courteous to him yesterday , so as to lull him to a sense of security? His pulse heightened, his anger welled and the bitterness inspired by the sour orange and his lemon nickname came flooding back.
He turned back and walked in anger to his home.
The orchard owner saw him turn away less than fifty metres from him. The orchard owner’s son wanted to run after him and stop him but the father gently and firmly held him back . He explained that the old man will have to step over the homestead threshold for the orchard owner to impart the long held secret to him. But it had to be another day as he watched the old man beat a hasty retreat. He remembered what his father , the original planter of the orchard had taught him:
To catch the sweet fruit means overcoming the sour threshold.
Pity the old man had turned away a few meters from that threshold and opted to walk kilometres back to the sour disposition.
Maybe another day would allow the old man to step over and learn the life changing secret.
To be continued……
“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.””
Proverbs 4:7-9 NIV