Today I did something I never do. I went outside to pick starfruit from the tree outside of my house. I do not consider myself to be overly girly, but I am not what one would consider an ‘outdoor’ person. I have allergies, I don’t like insects, and mosquitos are attracted to me like honey to the bees. I decided to make a fruit basket as a gift, and I thought fresh starfruit from my tree would be a great addition.
When I went outside (ugh), I started using the nifty bamboo stick tool my father made to reach all the high starfruit. I was suddenly reminded of the day the tree was planted. When I was around 9 years old, my father rushed into the house, and told me to come outside to see the tree that would bear fresh starfruit. He said, “You are going to be so happy, this tree will have a lot of fruit. You really likey.” I quickly put my shoes on, as I was ready to eat some fruit! (I loved fruit growing up, and still do) I stepped outside and saw nothing except a little stick in the ground with some branches and a little leaf. I said, “Where’s the fruit?” He said excitedly, “In 10 years you are going to be really happy. You 100% have a lot of fruit.” I grumbled and went back in the house. 10 years? How was I supposed to wait 10 years for a piece of fruit? Why not go to the grocery store and get it NOW? Why wait? I was an impatient child, and had much to learn. 10 years quickly passed, and I had forgotten about the tree. (again, not an outdoors person, so not once had I watered that tree) The tree did bear fruit, and so much in fact, that we always had an abundance of starfruit almost year round. Fast forward 30 years later, and here I am gathering fruit from that same tree today.
My father wakes up before the sun rises and starts his day by going to the Wah Lum Temple to light incense to honor his ancestors. After this ritual, he spends several hours nurturing his plants and tending to his fish. This is all a part of his routine, but it is much more than just simple chores. He is constantly planning for the future, planting seeds today, for the fruit for tomorrow. My father, a true master, has the foresight to know how fruitful and abundant a tree can be with consistent care and hard work. I do not have a green thumb, so I have a lot to learn before attempting to plant a new tree. However, I will continue to nurture the trees that my father has planted, and I will continue the traditions he began. I will also light incense to honor my ancestors, and I will try to practice hard work and patience (foh gee diu jin) every day during every task no matter how big or small.
DISCLAIMER: I was waiting to ‘fix’ this post and improve it, but then I realized I would never post it if I waited for it to be ‘perfect’. I do not consider myself to be a pro blogger or a distinguished writer. I have some fond memories of my Wah Lum journey that I simply would like to share. I came to the realization that I’ve been fortunate to lead an interesting (and unconventional) life to say the least, and I’ve been asked to share. I consider myself to be a private person, but sharing positive energy when there is so much negativity feels right. I hope you are at the very least entertained. So I intend to share my stories either by blog, vlog, or podcast. (all coming soon) Please follow, like, subscribe or whatever the term is!