08 May 2013

midweek messy :: nature gathered

 Gathered from my neighbor and sweet friend's tree, bountiful Meyer lemons. These are a shining "pro" on my list of happy things about living in West Los Angeles.  This weekend, my friend Jennifer taught a class on preserving and canning. As it was ending she gave us a tour of her cabinets where she kept the food she preserves, then she urged us to go harvest some Meyer lemons for ourselves.  Out my friend's back door and upon first glance of her tree, I thought she was mistaken to tell so many of us to take some home. However, as I approached, I saw dappled hints of yellow though the leaves.  Next to the tree I kneeled down and parted the leaves, looking for the yellow fruit. There I saw the magic underbelly of life that was hidden from my very grownup eye. There were oh! so many lemons!  Not unlike a child who finally understands her mother's advice, I then knew why she urged us to take as many as we wished.

This old lemon tree and her heavy ripe lemons, harvest ready, hanging so plentiful down from the branches, atop the rich soil, amongst the humming of bees, were a gathering of nature's art; she pulled me below her branches just as the strong scent of citrus lulls those bees to her flowers. Under there, grasping at lemons, oh how I longed to be young again; to be small, not grown. I would make this shaded small tree my playhouse, my home in the out of the doors.  In the heat and quiet of the afternoon, I would place an old blanket there, and drag my dollies and my old stuffed Paddington bear out from the house, where all would be invited to tea: the dollies, Paddington, the bees and me. Tea time beneath the scrubbed crisp scent of those lemons. We would laze under the tree, spend hours there, out amongst the bees and the white flowers. There I would learn the language of bees, the secrets of their pollen and the honeyed home of their hive.  Never to be stung by a single one, I would watch them as they danced in and out of the flowers and the lemons, feel them humming across my baby blond hair. I would learn to hold them on my hand; and they would listen to me as they listened to their queen. Me, Rebecca, Royal Princess of Meyer Lemons and their Flowers; Heiress to the Kingdom of Bees. The scent of the flowered fruit and slow decay of the tart lemons would stain my skin, and as I became older, the scent would always linger, never allowing itself to be scrubbed out. Oh to be young again, small, not grown, sitting at the foot of nature, blessed by the yellowed gifted fruit of this tree.

So I scooped up as many as I felt right and brought them home, still slightly intoxicated by their scent, their promise, their beauty, their art. I have yet to decide what to do with them. Perhaps something like as beautiful as my friend has done. I want to preserve their beauty a little longer.
 Nature Gathered for my midweek messy.

Nature In The Home with Lou at a LittleGreenShed.
xxoo

32 comments:

  1. Fresh from the tree! we enjoyed our very first garden produce of the year last night- lettuce and tomatoes, picked yesterday (not from our garden) by the farmers in the CSA we belong to (Community Supported Agriculture). THey taste like sunshine!

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    1. Oh gosh, tomatoes in your CSA. We have not gotten any yet this spring. Mmmm. I want to taste sunshine! xo

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  2. Lemons, I can only dream of them growing here, enjoy x

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  3. Love the lemon photos, the smell is perfect. Memories through the senses are the best, the smells, the sights it floods back. Wonderful post.
    Chey xo

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  4. oh how utterly gorgeous, such simple freshness x

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  5. Oh my goodness. These are just beautiful! Yum:) XO

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    1. Oh! I am still reveling in your post from last week! thanks so much Chrissy!

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  6. Our tree is just starting to show the promise of fruit....I can't wait

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    1. Oh I think i need to pot one as well. Carry lemons with me always. xo

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  7. Oh my I don;t think I have ever had a fresh lemon like that before - they look so pretty, perfect with my gin and tonic ;)

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  8. i'm with mammasaurus but i will take it with vodka and ginger ale ;)

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  9. Beautiful - and you write so evocatively. I can imagine I'm there, sat beneath that tree, the bees and me.

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  10. Thank you!
    I had such a tree both in childhood and later in my adult years spent in Ventura. A lemon tree just as you describe. I found myself there many an afternoon... sugar bowl by my side... eating them right off the tree. The back of my mouth tingles with the memory. So wonderful. A gift indeed.
    Thank you for the wonderful trip down memory lane. You described it all perfectly!

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    1. Oh Dawn! Thanks for your sweet words. I so wish I had lemon tree when I was growing up. xp

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  11. How wonderful to be able to pick your own lemons!

    Rebecca did you get your book and yarn through from MaryLou yet?

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    1. Hello Annie! Thanks so so much For your sweet words!
      Yes I did get the book! And the yarn! Delicious! xo

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  12. just hopped over from Lou's blog... such beautiful images and you write so beautifully too!

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  13. Thank you California lemons!!

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  14. How lovely and lucky. And such beautiful photos of them. (:

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  15. What a gorgeous soft light you have in these shots, the third one almost looks like a painting, and how wonderful to be able to pick them straight from the tree!

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