by Rachael PhillipsOnce upon a time there was a peach tree.
I know, I know. I should never begin a story with a cliché, a passive verb, and a protagonist with a wooden personality. But grant me a little literary license here, and the peach tree and I might make it worth your while (think peach-pecan praline shortcake).
Now that we understand each other [clear throat], I repeat—
Once upon a time there was a peach tree.It aspired to be the best peach tree in the whole world. It opened its leafy arms to the sunshine. It devoured plenty of nutrients from the rich cocoa-brown soil and drank deeply of the freshest silver rainwater. It even went to ACFW conferences to improve its production. …
I know, author intrusion. Sorry. To resume—The tree’s creative juices flowed, its ideas flowered, and it just knew this was the year it would happen. Success! Shortcake! Bubbling hot, crusty peach pie, fresh from the oven!
Brrrrrr. Instead, the tree was given the cold shoulder. The deep freeze, even.Timing was everything, and everything went wrong.
Nothing grew on the tree’s branches, not even itty-bitty nubbins of opportunity [sniff].Disappointed crows perched, squawking, “I thought you were doing something, here. Where are the peaches?”
The peach tree wished it had a BB gun. Still, it preserved—er, persevered. Even the year after a particularly disappointing season, it conducted its usual drill. It opened its arms to the sunshine. It devoured plenty of nutrients from the rich cocoa-brown soil, drank deeply of the freshest silver rainwater, and, yes, attended even more conferences, though it knew the same old thing would happen.But the same old thing didn’t happen.
No cold shoulder. No deep freeze.Instead, warmth and showers of affirmation and, ta-da! A contract.
Well, yes, it’s true I’ve never met a peach tree that signed a contract, but, hey, this is fiction. Camels can go through the eyes of needles, right?Yes, I know I just mixed metaphors. Jesus did, too, sometimes. Deal with it.
Where was I? Oh, yes. The peach tree signed a contract, and then another, and suddenly its branches were loaded with dozens of big, delicious marketing opportunities. Dozens.Whoa.
The proud, happy tree tried to support them all. Sometimes, though, she drooped and pooped out and even thought she might crack, especially when bunches of big, yummy prospects dropped from the tree’s branches before they even ripened. Plunk! Plunk! Plunk!Ack! I can’t let those get away! God, why the feast or famine?
The Creator said, “Do you really want Me to halt the feast?”The peach tree paused. Um, no.
She could re-learn to like what she loved. Not so hard, especially when she could share her flavorful bounty with dozens, hundreds, even thousands of people.
The droopy tree stood straight (more or less). “Thank You for the feast, Lord. I know You’ll be with me whether life’s a peach or the pits.”
“Don’t forget the pie in the sky isn’t fiction.” He smiled. “All this may have happened once upon a time. But you will live a for-real happy ever after.”