Love 2011

November 22

Made to Love

Tomorrow is Zunliang (Eunice) and my tenth anniversary. Sadly, Eunice is in Taiwan, has been there since we went to Taiwan together in early August, and will be there until around Christmastime. She asked me to write something for our anniversary, but I was going to do that anyway. I could write a silly love poem, but not this time. Rather, I will let my mind meander a bit about love and Eunice.

We have a magic Guava tree. I don't know how many people out there have a magic tree, but we do. I collected a large (1 gallon, I think) bowl of Guavas yesterday. A while ago, I almost got another gallon of Guavas. These are Pineapple Guavas, one of those tricky fruit which for some reason, evolved to remain inconspicuously green, making only the cleverest and most knowledgeable critters among us, savvy to their delicious ripeness. The ways to know which ones to pick, or pick up, or basically, to pick up ones that have recently fallen to the ground, shake the tree and pick up the ones that fall to the ground, or lightly pull on different fruit and pick the ones that detach from the tree with the light pull. These are the ones that are ripe. Fortunately, Eunice and I both like Pineapple Guavas, but unfortunately, she is not here to eat them. Thus, in the past 9 days, I have given a large bag full of them to Occupy Riverside, and another to my Okinawan neighbors. I know that Doreen's 93 or 94 year old mother, Mabel, likes them a lot, at least. A few years ago, I wrote about this tree on my blog when Eunice was in Taiwan, and I basically used the tree to provide all my fruit needs at the time (and still had bags full in the refrigerator when Eunice returned). I estimated that the tree produced about 900 Guavas that year. This year, I would have to say that the total will be well over 1,000 Guavas, perhaps around 1,500 or more, another new record amount. Yesterday, I probably picked up at least 150 Guavas that had fallen off the tree (and left a few that were difficult to reach). Today, I probably got about another 150 of them. This may be the peak of the season, which lasts from about September through December, with a few possibly in late August and in early January, but I had already picked hundreds, and there are still hundreds on the tree. The particularly magic, strange thing about the tree, is that the fruit are very difficult to see on the tree. Although some fruit can be seen, the tree has far more growing on it than it appears to. They seem to appear out of thin air as they fall to the ground. Today, as I was picking up the fruit, I found myself laughing repeatedly as I found bunches of fruit on the ground which had appeared since yesterday, and as new fruit kept falling as I was rummaging around under the tree. It occured to me that such laughter has been a common occurence while picking up the Guavas over the years.

It also occured to me that this tree has had a lot of help in becoming so "magical." It was one of our first purchases for the yard at our house, and we placed it on the side of the front yard, in a place with good soil and not far from the front door, making it convenient to toss fruit peels, veggie peels and other stuff that is yummy for plants, under the tree. Eunice in particular, has had a habit of nurturing the tree in this way, but I do too. I know that the productivity of the tree is a result of good genetics, good soil, good climate for this species, lots of natural fertilizer, and tender loving care -- in other words, compatibility between the tree and its environment. On the other hand, we also planted a Pineapple Guave tree on our back hill, which for the most part, has been a tree graveyard. Aside from the point, it was sold to us falsely as a "Strawberry Guava," but clearly, it appears to be a Pineapple Guava tree. I say it appears to be a Pineapple Guava tree, because it has never succeeded in producing a single fruit. Being a hardy tree, it has remained green-leaved and healthy throughout these years, but cannot find enough nutrients to produce fruit. Last year, it had a few blooms for the first time, and this year, it had probably around 30 flowers, so I was hopeful that this was the year it would have fruit, but they all fell off. I have tried to fertilize the tree, but it is difficult to do on a fairly steep, dry, hot granite soiled hill such as this. Can you see where this is heading?

Yes, love must be nurtured, too, in order to work. I know that both Eunice and myself have always nurtured our relationship, because we treasure it and it is of the greatest importance to us. If only every couple was so commited to their relationship, and so nurturing, divorce would be a rarity. Our love is like the "magic Guava tree," which keeps producing so many goodies that it gets ridiculous to the point of making us laugh.

I believe that the most important factor in being loved, is being lovable -- being loyal to the relationship and worthy of love. There is another side to our relationship, however. Of course, there is a very strong compatibility factor, but there is also the greater issue of life's purpose. Perhaps the Universe has brought us together, in other words. I won't go into the circumstantial evidence for that here. I know a lot of people don't believe in that, while many others do, but the evidence is there. I have a friend who believes in reincarnation, who says that every soul must experience being a male, a female, a father and a mother, in order to be complete. Perhaps, our souls also need to experience true love in order to be complete -- deep, soul-wrenching love, I mean, the kind that Eunice and I experience. If so, I pity all the people who fail to find true love or do not pursue it. I know that Eunice and I have found such love. Perhaps this is our time to complete our souls through love. We have sacrificed a great deal to be together, have suffered in many ways and spent much time apart, but none of that dissuades us. Whatever happens, wherever life leads me, however long we may live, or however long we may be apart, I will always know that I have experienced true love. I take this gift from Eunice with me always. Xie Xie (thank you) You-Nice, or as she is known in Taiwan, Chairwoman Chu, the adorable, kindhearted, living doll of a person that I was fortunate enough to have love me and be my wife. Understand this as I do; we are made to love, as much and as deeply as we can.

Imagine the cultural evolution and the progress we would make if we lived in a love-based society, instead of the greed-based one we currently find ourselves in.