recent post I said that my birthday olive tree was "an interesting gift." I suppose it was because I was dead tired that I couldn't think of a more telling word. I'm embarrassed to use such an uninteresting word as interesting. Ugh. The truth is, to receive the gift of an olive tree on the occasion of getting older made a huge impression on me. If I hadn't needed to finish that post quickly and make dinner...well, enough of the excuses.
I love to look at these trees, so as I was browsing them on the Internet I pasted some pictures here. Vincent Van Gogh painted several scenes of olives.
A post about olive trees was one of the first in my string of blogs. And recently on my tree-rich trip I saw old California orchards. My childhood was near the groves that made Lindsay Ripe Olives famous, though as I have mentioned, I don't like the fruits, and my family never had an olive tree on our property. Olive oil gelato? Very West-Coast, and I would be willing to give that a try.
adopt an olive tree growing in Italy, like the one at top, and then receive its produce for a year. I suppose you have to adopt it, or a different one, again the next year. Not very good parenting.
Montenegro is the home of this pocked giant, which is reputed to be 2000 years old. The longevity intrigues me, along with all the Biblical references, which I haven't even begun to think about. Mention of them often goes along with general descriptions of abundance and productivity of gardens, and with pomegranates and figs and vineyards.
There's a story of the olive tree who was asked to be king, and the olive branch in the dove's mouth after The Flood. Doors for the Temple were carved in olive wood. Many people make reference to it being the tree of Peace, and God knows I need that--I need Him.
What does it mean, "I am like a green olive plant in the house of my God." ? It means alive, if it is green. Let me flourish in Your House, O Lord. Let me live in You.
Turkey , the fifth-largest seller of olive oil in the world-- but trying to get to second place. Olive oil I do much appreciate, and can imagine having a picnic on the warm yellow grass, of bread dipped in oil, sitting on a blanket under the sun. Once during my sojourns in that very country, I helped women in shalvar* gather olives from the ground where they'd fallen. I even sampled one of the wrinkly brined olives they cured in flat pans spread around under the trees, and had to restrain myself from immediately spitting it out.
*(I tried in vain to find a picture of these baggy pants that so many women still wore in Turkey in the 60's and 70's. These days a version has become high fashion, and the ones worn by chic models are not the ones I saw and wore. Perhaps this will be be the subject of a future post.)
The Garden of Gethsemane figures prominently in the events of our salvation history, into which we entered last week through the services and events leading up to Pascha. And this tree lives there. What if it is also 2,000 years old?
I planned to post this blog before Pascha, but now here we are post-Gethsemane, post-Golgotha. Wherever olive trees, any trees, are living, this week they are dancing.