Life Will Find A Way

8 May

The santol tree in front of my houseI was looking at the santol tree that looms large in front of my house when this thought crossed my mind. Life finds a way. I live in a concrete jungle, where everything is covered in cement and stone. Even our small scrap of lawn, before we had it completely covered in stone, used to be made of artificial grass, the kind that covered commercial mini-golf courses.

I grew up in a similar environment. My dad’s business involved the finishing of metals (plating, powdercoating), and as such, we flourished in a home that was made largely of stone, steel, and cement. My mom’s green thumb definitely came in handy; where she could find a patch of dirt, she dug and planted. She was able to grow flowers, vegetables, even trees. By the time we sold our family home in the late nineties, it had a beautiful garden hidden behind massive stone edifices.

When my turn came to have a family, I promised myself that I would plant a garden too. Alas, I did not inherit my mom’s green thumb. Also, Alphonse’s pica was such that he dug through earth to eat roots and fallen leaves, and before I knew it, my little garden became stone again.

One day, many years ago, (Alphonse was only three then) I saw a small tree struggling to break through the concrete. I later found out that one of the nannies threw a single santol seed in a small crack in the concrete. I let the tree be; I figured, it’ll either die or flourish and it’ll all be the same to me. As the days  passed, the santol tree, although thin and sickly looking, grew. It was barren and without fruit, but I liked the idea of having a tree (even just a single one) so once again, it was spared of the ax. After that, it would bear fruit once a year, and produce three to five puny santol- little ones that were smaller than a tennis ball and slightly bigger than a pingpong ball but  oh, they were so sweet.

santol fruits of the tree

When typhoon Milenyo ravaged the metropolis two years ago, the tree broke. I thought that was the end of it. We gave away the broken branches for firewood; a wise old neighbor even made one large branch into a bench. Surprisingly, a month later, the santol tree was already sprouting new branches.

This year, for the first time ever, this tree has been producing the sweetest fruits in an astonishing number. Every branch has santol, some heavy with clusters of the fruit.  Alphonse likes picking up the falling fruit and usually takes a big chunk out of them, skin, rind and all.Santol fruits from my tree

And this brings me to the thought that indeed, life finds a way. Who would have thought that a crack in stone could yield a tree?  That a single seed could surprise even the most jaded of us ?

I love this tree.

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5 Responses to “Life Will Find A Way”

  1. hyprsts May 8, 2008 at 8:36 am #

    Yum, yum! Santolade! My favorite summer drink! 😀

    I think I might just have to ask for a recipe. I’ve never tasted a Santolade before. 🙂 ~♥Kittymama

  2. FXSmom May 8, 2008 at 2:20 pm #

    awesome story!!

    Thanks, FXSMom! 🙂 Trees are so beautiful, even if I do only have one. ~♥Kittymama

  3. megamomph May 9, 2008 at 6:35 am #

    Great story, Kitty Mama! Reminds me to start gathering the santol from our tree and make santolade (great suggestion, hyprsts!), sinantol (a Bicolano ulam), and buro.

    I am much better now thank you. If you are up to it, please join TBR-9. Pretty please! I’m hosting. Details here: http://megamomph.wordpress.com/2008/04/30/mentors-tormentors/.

  4. megamomph May 9, 2008 at 6:56 am #

    I don’t know what happened I just wrote a comment about these lovely santol fruits.
    (Check your spam queue – it might be there.)
    Anyway, I hope you have time to join the next ed of TBR which I am hosting. Your favorite mentors or tormentors. Pretty please! Check my blog for details. I suspec my comment might have been sent to spam because of the link.

    Aha! Found it! 🙂 (Posted it already.)

    I will try to join your edition of the TBR although I’m not feeling too keen on reliving my moments with a few terror teachers. Maybe just the good ones na lang? ~♥Kittymama

  5. mari May 9, 2008 at 7:41 pm #

    my lola candies santol fruits plus a whole other fruits. i love it! brings back memories of my childhood.

    happy mother’s day, kittymama!

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