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The True Value Of Experience, A Story About A Lemon Tree

Michelle Dale - Monday, January 31, 2011

When I was living in Egypt I saw and discovered many things which I could not have comprehended before this, when I was living in England. They are things which I would never have been exposed to as a tourist, and could only learn and understand through the experience of living there and being absorbed into the culture.

When I lived in France and had my second child there, the same thing happened again, I could never have imagined the differences that would occur when giving birth, because of their culture compared to my first child.

There are many more places I have been and experiences I have had, that can only come from living in those particular circumstances. So here is my latest one, it may seem small but I thought I would share it with you.

I have always wanted grow a fruit tree, and actually see for myself from start to finish how the fruit grows, to the end result, I have always lived in places really way too hot or not hot enough… But in Spain I was in the perfect place to fulfil this desire of nurturing a fruit tree.

I bought a relatively young lemon tree (in its first year) and I was a little concerned I would not get to actually see it get to bear any lemons before I left the country, because I heard that it is very rare that fruit trees will produce fruit in their first year, but I thought I would take my chances.

The lemon tree grew very quickly early on, and it was soon producing small flowers, which I had never seen before, they had small white curly leaves with a pink base. Many of these flowers started to pop up all over the tree.

Then, the petals started to come away from the flower, leaving on the inside a small greeny yellow ball, this was the start of a lemon!  There were so many… I couldn’t believe it, I noticed at this time that the trees growth had slowed down considerably.

Some of the small greeny yellow balls started to fall off, some grew a little bigger into lemons about the size of a pea… Then I started to notice the lemon tree was starting to grow again, the more the lemon tree grew, the more the little lemons were dropping off, until there was only one left. One single, solitary lemon…

That lemon decided to have a go at hanging on and it grew bigger and bigger, this weekend, it was ready to come off.

When I shopped for lemons, I had never considered the cycle that the lemon had gone through to get to the fruit and veg department of the local supermarket. I never knew the lemon came from a delicate looking flower, and I didn’t realise that you could grow a lemon tree in the first year and have one solitary lemon survive the journey.

I felt a great sense of achievement when that lemon made it through its full cycle, and I have gained a valuable experience that would not have been the same had it been from a text book or television programme. After the lemon was plucked, I placed a slice in a very cold gin and tonic, and it was seriously the best gin and tonic I had ever had…

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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.

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