A test of faith. Please pray for my tree.

This may be a test of faith.

For the past several years, we have been growing in our front yard a very tall, very large Zutano avocado tree. It’s on the sunny side of our home, so Jennie and I most evenings take our glass of wine out to a weathered but comfy old couch where we sit under the filtered shade of our cherished tree. We enjoy the activity of birds, bees, and other insects that flirt and buzz in and out of the canopy. The last two years have brought bountiful harvests, with dozens of avocados hanging from every branch. I counted over 250 ripe avocados last season, a yield the whole neighborhood enjoyed. But alas, our beloved tree is falling on hard times. It’s lost most of its leaves and is oozing some white salts from its trunk and limbs.

It may die.

This got me thinking about the Ohlone natives that inhabited the Central Coast and their relationship to the many trees that helped sustain their lives, providing sustenance and shelter throughout the unceasing cycle of the seasons. The indigenous peoples’ most important food source was the various oaks that grew and still grow in these environs. What did the Ohlone do when the oaks showed signs of disease or simply did not produce an abundance of acorns?

Well, for one thing, they sourced other foods such as buckeyes, berries, seeds, roots, venison, fish, small mammals, and waterfowl. And they prayed to their protectors, ancestors, and the natural forces that impacted them every day, such as the sun, moon, and weather gods. Every man, woman, and child prayed, individually and collectively. Ceremonies with singing and dancing brought the people together in their appeals for restoration of health to the life-giving oaks.
Unfortunately, my tree has received no prayers or pious entreaties. But it has received numerous opinions as to the cause of its malady: It is suffering from an iron deficiency. It’s getting too much water. It’s not getting enough water. It’s getting too much sun or not enough sun. It needs more phosphorus. It needs to be pruned. It has a fungus. Climate change is hurting it. Some boring insect is attacking it.

I’ve done a few things like adding mulch, spreading fertilizer, and cutting out dead branches. I’ve even driven some iron nails into the trunk in hopes of revitalizing the tree.

Nothing seems to be working.
Whereas a few hundred years ago most everyone would be praying for the tree, now we only get scientific explanations in the hope of a cure.

So I’ve decided to start praying for our tree. It deserves our love and faith. I’m sure many trees have bounced back from near death throughout human history with no help from modern science, just the remedies of nature and the recuperative power of prayer.

I’m looking forward to a bumper crop next year!

Follow Buzz!
One Comment
  1. Carole Welty Johnson

    My parents have two avacado trees in their yard. They both produce every year, even after the major flood in March. I know my parents believe in the power of prayer🙏🏼

Comments are closed.