Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. ~Charles Dickens
It was that kind of year, the misfortune kind. A frightening diagnosis and all that it entailed.
And it was the year we grew bananas in Buffalo. A blessings year.
A wow-when-does-that-happen-how-could-I-be-so-lucky-and-friends-and-confidantes kind of year.
The best kind of year.
It didn’t take much effort from us.
But it took a load of magic from a banana tree. (and some helpers along the way)
A banana tree that came to live – in a pot – in our garden during the summer of 2013.
It was sunk into the ground, right behind the pergola. It grew leaves the brightest green and, over time, each leaf tattered in the wind, reminiscent of trips to the Caribbean.
And, then, it was gone.
And I really thought it was gone, our gardener hauling it away to the compost pile.
But then this spring, on a chilly but brightly-sunny weekday, it came back – and it was our tree!
Over-wintered at a local nursery in unseasonably-warm temperatures and lots of humidity. Someone else nurtured our banana tree during the dark days of winter, unknown to us.
And so, it became sunk into the ground in its pot once again, this time with a hand of green bananas.
And so we learned about bananas.
In Latin, the plants are called Musa paradisiaca.
A bunch of them naturally connected to each other is called a hand.
They require heat and sun and humidity, usually taking 75 days to ripen from when they first appear.
And we did it in Buffalo. Without really thinking it would happen.
Perhaps it was the boatloads of rain.
Perhaps it was the several scorching-hot weeks (although we did have our share of chilly days and nights).
Or, perhaps, it was just meant to be.
A reminder that we need not worry about the how of it. A reminder that wonder happens even when we’re not looking. A reminder that struggle isn’t always necessary.
And that a few helpers can change everything about what we believe is possible.