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Patty’s Ponderings-What I Learned From Almond Trees

Almond tree blossoms

I like to believe that as humans we have the capacity, if we’re open to it, to learn at least one new thing everyday. And I mean at the very least. Some things have a greater impact on us than others, and really stand out in the forefront of our consciousness. Other information is simply assimilated with little fanfare into our breadth of knowledge; remaining unused for a lifetime.

One of my favorite weekend habits is watching “CBS Sunday Morning”. It is a quietly engaging journalistic mix of news, entertainment, and lifestyle pieces. And almost without fail, I learn something new every time I watch.

They always have what they refer to as a “Moment of Nature” at the end of the program. For years this was just a beautiful bit of film used as a bookend to tie up the show in a quiet, unassuming fashion. But it proved such a popular feature that it is now sponsored.

This past weekend’s “Moment of Nature” was set in a California almond orchard where honeybees were busy pollinating this year’s bumper crop. I have never given much thought to almond trees; perhaps on purpose. When I was a child, my parents used to buy giant cans of California almonds every year in San Francisco, while we were on vacation.

I loved them then, but too much of a good thing is, well—too much! Now, there is just something about the texture of almond skin that I really dislike.

That being said, I will still eat the occasional handful of the crunchy buggers and set about trying to analyze what turned me against them. If I could only be this thoughtful in regard to other relationships!

All of this aside; what I learned from the wonderful ending of this past weekend’s show, is how beautiful almond trees are in bloom. So beautiful, in fact, that they were inspiration for a painting by none other than Vincent Van Gogh. You could almost imagine walking through this extraordinary place with the bees buzzing and the almond trees, heavy with the gorgeous pink and white blossoms, swaying in the breeze, warmed by sunlight, under a bright blue sky.

This marvelous, imaginary, sensory experience led me to research the derivation of the word almond, (from Latin, Greek and French), the origination of the trees, (in the Mideast, in fact almonds are mentioned quiet often in the Bible),discover that the U.S. is the number one almond producing country, (thanks to those California almond trees) and a plethora of other info that I won’t bore you with!

Suffice it to say, I can’t help but marvel at the amount of discovery I was led to by a bit of nature’s inspiration.

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