Three or four blocks from my apartment, a fig tree flourishes in the unlikeliest of places: a tiny patch of earth, sandwiched between curb and sidewalk.
The tree must be a revered fixture in Colonia Juan Manuel Vallarta, because its branches extend so far into the street that cars must swerve into the opposing lane to avoid being scratched. However, no one makes any effort to prune the luxuriant growth.
In the Bible the fig is portrayed as a fruit tree of great importance, offering a place of peace and contemplation away from the frenzy of the day: “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid…” (Micah 4:4, KJV).
At this season of the year, the fruit is still green, but plump with the promise of sweetness to come. And the luxuriant leaves invite passersby to pause for a few moments in the shade and reflect on the holiness of their journey.
filling her bucket
with bits and pieces of stars—
the old street sweeper
Text and photo © 2016 by Mark M. Redfearn, all rights reserved