I found a peach tree in Central Park. I like to think I discovered it.
My peach tree grew by accident, you see. Someone enjoying a juicy peach - purchased from the neighborhood farmers market on a sunny Sunday morning - threw the pit over the wall before trotting off to read in the shade under Belvedere’s Castle, or the hot sun of the Sheep Meadow.
You can visit my tree at the NW corner of The Pond near w77th Street. Maybe you’ll sit there, on the crescent bench along the beautiful carved stone wall. In August my tree was dripping with fruit.
I once met a little, old, Asian woman there. She was showing the tree to her little, old, woman friends. She thought it was her tree. I told her it was mine. I asked if she knew about the Osage Orange trees. “Yes, they are good to keep roaches away”. She said I must be her sister.
This peach tree reminds me of happy accidents and sweet surprises, a symbol of hope and possibility. My tree is a Gratitude Practice.
I’ve been having a hard time lately. My seasonal depression is taking up more space. Days are getting shorter and darkness is creeping in. The News and Politics are making me anxious. I just watched a Priest scream at the parking officer writing him a ticket (OK – that was actually kind of hilarious. A screaming Priest? Everyone has their days). I’ve had some challenges in my business. Someone owes me a lot of money. I don’t always feel safe. I’m often scared about my future.
But I can always visit my peach tree and breathe. I can always take a moment to remember things that are beautiful, light, hopeful and good.
Gratitude Practices can take so many forms. They are gestures, actions, or keepsakes. They are reminders for us to stop and appreciate what is good - to be thankful. Here is an article in Forbes about 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude.
How do we pause – even for a flickering moment - to remember gratitude? Some people volunteer, exercise, meditate, breathe or pray. Some people look at a photo or go to a show. I know people with gratitude tattoos. Geesh, I go to a tree. To me, a Gratitude Practice is a moment – however large or small and sometimes in spite of what’s happening - that we recognize good can prevail over bad, light can prevail over dark.
Its not really my peach tree. I suspect that the Central Park Conservancy is aware of every tree in that park, most of which were planted on purpose.
As my friend Marjorie Nass recently wrote “Don’t let Perfect be the enemy of Good. Just do your best”. Many moments will be imperfect. But we should still do our best each day to see a glint of wonder, beauty, light, and to be thankfull.
I don’t have any announcements or events to market. I just wanted to tell you about my peach tree.