It was after we had voted, after teasing with friends at the precinct, after meeting the man who owned the persimmon tree.
Heading home, my husband and I were riding the mountains, still green with crowns of red and purple foliage. A perfect fall day. Suddenly, he pulls the truck to a stop on the side of Push Mountain Road, saying, “There’s the persimmon tree you wanted to meet.” I laughed, remembering the wild fruit he’d brought home.
I pulled out my camera and opened my door. I wanted a close-up of the tree, but when I rounded the truck, I looked down at the torn-up ground and came to a complete halt. The terrain was forbidding, full of rocks and damp ruts. “Wild hogs,” he commented. I understood. Luckily, I had worn sensible boots, so the rooting of hogs would not deter me.
I have lived seven decades. I know if you are determined to get to the fruit in life, you must be willing to walk through some ugly ruts. This morning, I have on boots, and I am set on getting a photo of this tree and thanking God and the tree for its gifts. Persimmons. Maybe you have to grow up snacking on them in a neighbor’s yard or in the woods to understand. The fruit is full of seeds and can be bitter, but if you can wait until they are ripened, persimmons are beautiful and tasty. Well worth a little trouble.
This year, I’m told the seeds hold tiny spoons, meaning we will shovel lots of snow this winter. I smile, hoping the folktale is true.
Now, let me greet this persimmon tree! Let me draw near! Let me say "thank you" and take a picture. Let me pick up a few of its droppings. Let the Creator and this persimmon tree keep on blessing me!
Photo by Pat Durmon, alongside Push Mountain Road, near Lone Rock, Arkansas. November 2016.