Every time I peer outside I see these little suckers that, when bathed in morning dew and the first rays of morning remind me that cold winter nights are coming . When we first moved into the house we planted the front yard out with a lemon, mandarin, orange, lime and grapefruit tree in the hopes of being self sufficient one day. Our little trees started out with a hard life, being planted at the start of the drought, where the grass and plants around them turned to brown and crisp. We rarely watered them after planting figuring they would have to learn to survive on their own. This wasn't the first drought and surely wouldn't be the last.
With the rain in spring last year, our mandarin flowered for the first time. Soon after tiny fruit appeared all over the little tree that in three years had grown barely one metre. The mandarins teased us over the summer, happily drinking in the hot summer days unchanged. Finally with the cooler days they started growing and then stopped.
Suddenly in the last few weeks the flush of orange has tinged their skin. It's like watching a sunrise in slow motion. I'm dreaming of our first freshly picked, juicy mandarins from our little tree, but they are keeping my waiting. For the time being, whenever I see them I am filled with the desire for a healthy, juicy life that's full of flavour just like them.