Adaptability / Challenge / Change / Emotional Evolution & Spiritual Growth / Nature & Hiking

Innocence Caught on Camera–Pomegranate Voyeur

I am completely infatuated with the pomegranate trees on our property. You could say I have a crush on them. Like a fetish-stricken voyeur, I’ve probably taken about 50 photos so far and expect to take 50 more before their tender, juicy fruit is ready to be plucked from the branches.

One tree is but a baby; the other is much further along its life path. They are both bearing fruit and I can’t stop myself from taking pictures along the way. I’ve never seen a pomegranate tree until moving out here to California. I am so fascinated; I stop and examine them nearly every time I pass them on the steps to our cottage.

The transformation of flower to fruit is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. At first, I thought they were pepper trees. Curious crimson casings emerged in great number all over the branches.

pomegranate peppers

Peppers?

Then, as though shot from the barrel of a pistol, they burst open, curling out as they hit the atmosphere.

pomegranate blossoms

Next, beautiful red flowers popped out like confetti party poppers. Attention-grabbing trumpets announced, “We’re here! Stay tuned. We’ve got something amazing to show you!”

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In the next stage, the delicate flower petals fell off but the miniature trumpets remained and slowly hardened. As they faced the elements–strong Santa Ana winds and unexpected 100-degree temps in early spring–their skins became tougher and thicker. All these years, I never had a clue how pomegranates grew, but I never expected something that was once a flower petal itself would morph directly into the softball-sized fruit I’m accustomed to seeing in the market.

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Usually, fruit-tree blossoms show their beautiful selves and then drop petals one-by-one until they fully expose their inner core–much like a child slowly giving up his or her innocence as they grow into an adult. That core then endures certain challenges as it develops into sweet fruit. We know this transformation all too well. We can relate. We, too, have blossomed innocently in life and have had to exchange that innocence for a thick tough-skinned self we’ve become. We may believe innocence is gone forever. We may even believe significant growth is gone forever, especially the kind that can produce sweet fruit. All we focus on is the exposed, aging exterior, and the belly that is expanding unnaturally, or so it seems.

In contrast to typical fruit trees, the transformation of the pomegranate from flower to fruit allows it to keep its original petals of innocence and simply toughen them in preparation for the journey. That strikes me as an enviable path to travel to reach the same end and become the sweet fruit we are meant to be. For some folks, the journey is gentler than it is for others; innocence is somehow safely preserved. For me, life has at times seemed gentle; at other times, not so much. I have felt my innocence stripped from me too early, but I’ve been also able to find it again–by laughing easily and by seeing things through the eyes of a child again.

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While I watch the progress of the pomegranates, I can’t envision how the trees themselves will stand up to the heavy weight of the fruit they are carrying. The branches hardly seem strong enough. Already they struggle and there is still so much further to go. And yet, despite my concerns, logically, I know they will likely handle the burden. I trust in the process and what I know of life so far. I have faith it will all work out. The tree, like life itself, will carry out this task and will begin the next cycle as soon as this one completes. We, the fruit on the tree, will mature physically, and, with any luck, emotionally as well. The branches–like the people in our lives that support us in so many ways–will help us along the way as we grow.

We, too, are the tree itself. We carry these burdens, these heavy fruits. We think we may break from the strain of them, but we must have faith. We will handle these things that sometimes weigh us down, and when they have come to fruition, we will begin the cycle again and handle the next ones that come along. We are fascinating. We are beautiful. We are full of life. And even if we lost our innocence long ago, we have the chance each cycle to experience it again and to preserve it for the next journey.

Peace to you as you journey through your life!

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16 thoughts on “Innocence Caught on Camera–Pomegranate Voyeur

  1. Your words are lovely and your pom’ pics are simply delicious! I once lived in a place with a pomegranate tree growing outside my bedroom window. It was breathtaking.

    • Thanks! I’m discovering all kinds of wonderful fruit trees in my neighborhood. Southern California certainly blows other regions of the country away with its mostly lovely year-round weather. I’m like a kid in a candy store!! 🙂

  2. I am amazed at your ability with metaphors that help convey the process of what happens to us…swimming in the mud…the surgeons knife…. and now the flowers, the loss of innocence, our toughening, the sweetness that is contained within the fruit that is us, the whole tree bearing the weight.

    Quite profound and enlightening. thanks

    • Thank you so much, Elizabeth. I’m glad you can relate to my way of communicating. It calms me to write this way. The funny thing is I never wrote creatively until a couple of years ago, but once I did, I seemed to be attracted most to metaphors. Since then, whenever I think of a topic, metaphors help bring it to life so I can write about it in more depth. Nothing makes me feel more connected to others and more satisfied than these little moments like I am having here with you. Thanks for giving of your time to read something of mine. 🙂

  3. Wow! I am stupefied! I never knew that pomegranates look like that as they’re growing into such beautiful, tasty things. When I was in Istanbul just two weeks ago I found that they are OBSESSED with this fruit, so maybe you’ll have to venture there in the near future! There’s pomegranate pottery, jewelry, and even folk tales. 🙂
    Also, your words are so beautiful and uplifting. Thank you for making my morning, reading this was better than a cup of coffee.

    • Thanks for your stupefidity (lol)… I feel comforted someone else is as amazed as I. I swear I’m still passing the tree every day and shaking my head in quiet disbelief.

      I’m stunned to hear Istanbul has an obsession with them. If there is pottery, jewelry, etc., is it with the form of the entire fruit or with the juicy seeds? Curious.

      Better than coffee? Wow! That would be a pretty tall order in my coffee-dependent-morning world. 🙂

  4. The analogy between the heavy fruit (pomegranate) and the burdens we carry. And that in the end, like you said, the burdens are there for a reason just like the heavy fruit on that tree. They are there to make us stronger.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  5. The analogy between the heavy fruit (pomegranate) and the burdens we carry is an eye opener for me. That in the end, like you said, the burdens are there for a reason just like the heavy fruit on that tree. They are there to make us stronger.

  6. Pingback: Messages From the Rose Garden__1: Growing Under Pressure | Swimming in the Mud

  7. Pingback: Lessons from the Rose Garden__2: Everything in its Own Time | Swimming in the Mud

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