January 2015 was a very cold and bitter January. The property we steward has 5 persimmon trees on it. That January, I was awakened from sleep to a conscious dream state of being invited by the persimmon tree outside my bedroom window. I call her Mama Persimmon. The experience was surreal, as she brought me into her. I experienced what a tree experiences in the sub-zero cold of winter. Her sap was deep in her interior places, held in safe guard. I had to know that before she showed me an extended branch. I felt the utter vulnerability of being exposed to the elements when the sap of life was so pulled for a future time. Without words I understood that this branch may die. She may lose a piece of herself, but this is what it means to be a tree in winter. I also felt, in that cold, frigid, frozen reality, the hope of spring. She knew buds would burst and bloom, and the sap would run free and full. She was part of the cycle of life; dying and living, giving and waiting, letting go and surviving.
A dream? An interspecies communion? I am grateful for this experience. It was powerful as a reality and as metaphor for the Spiritual Direction I offer. We are to be conscious and awakened, not sleep walking through our lives and choices.
We will die and we will live.
We will grow and we will snap off.
We will bud anew, and we will experience loss.
We will hold the pulse of life within us, even during the most tenuous times of life when survival may be in question.
This is what it means to live.
I offer thanks to Mama Persimmon for the invitation and the teaching.
And also, have you eaten a persimmon? If you grab it off the tree before it is ripe, it will be so astringent that your mouth will literally feel like you are in a sci-fi movie and some alien life form has sucked all moisture from your body. Crazy Sour!
If you wait till they begin to fall from the tree, and place a sheet underneath to catch the falling fruit, you will be rewarded with a sweet pudding texture that is nature's perfection.
I like this as a metaphor for personal growth. We can pay attention and do our work, so that when our issues and wounds are ripe for the work, we can grow, examine, taste the textures, spit out the seeds, and plant for the coming season of something new. It is amazing. YOU are amazing.