Lessons from an Orchard
Annie Wald, author of Walk With Me, was kind enough to share some thoughts with us on life, harvest, and growth, as well as a recipe for Pear Pie (scroll down)!
As I write this, I’m spending a week at a guest house that overlooks an orchard. It’s harvest
time and the trees are heavy with apples and pears. Some trees have skirts of fallen fruit. A friend brought over a bag of these ‘falls’, perfect for my mom’s pear pie recipe. What a treat to enjoy the literal fruit of someone’s labor.
I’m only visiting though, and I didn’t get to watch the orchard on its yearly pilgrimage through the seasons. The pears appeared at my door, juicy and plump. It’s easy to forget that they came from trees that survived the winter with bare, brown branches.
Later, the tight buds bloomed and leafed, avoiding a killing frost. How wonderful it would have been to be here in spring and see the hillside covered in white blossoms! Then the blossoms developed into fruit. Even during the carefree days of summer, the trees had to endure heat and drought, blight and worms; fierce storm winds. They drew in nourishment from their roots, water from the soil.
In my writing orchard this past year, I’ve enjoyed the harvest of Walk with Me, a book that went through many seasons on its journey to being published. Now I’m just about ready to offer some gleanings: a study guide for the book.
But I also went through an emotional winter after my father died unexpectedly and I had an emergency hospitalization. There were months all I could do was hold on, trusting in God’s faithfulness that spring would come again.
That’s the lesson of the harvest orchard. Ripe, plump fruit doesn’t appear instantly. It grows slowly and endures much, while being tended by an attentive orchard-keeper. Only then do we enjoy the rewards that come its persistence.
And sometimes, it takes years of patient waiting before the harvest comes. Relational and personal difficulties don’t always follow the neat progression of fruit trees. But whatever place we are in, we have hope that God remains at work. Our task is to answer His faithfulness with our own, choosing to follow after Him as we weather the challenges each season brings.
Pear Pie Recipe
¼ cup butter
1 cup flour
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp. sugar
Mix egg yolk and sugar and add to other ingredients. Mix well. Press into 8 in. pie pan as you do a graham cracker crust.
Peel, core and quarter 6 or 7 fresh pears and put in the unbaked pie shell.
Beat well the following:
1 cup sugar
¼ cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup flour
Pour this mixture over the pear halves. Bake at 350° F. about 45 minutes, or until set.