Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Peachy Parable

by Rachael Phillips
Once 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.

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.”


  1. I wanted to add something equally inspiring, but alas my brain is on vacation (maybe it thinks it's time for winter hibernation).

    Thanks for the encouragement. :)


    1. Ginger, so glad my little blurb encouraged you! A long, long nap does sound GOOD....

  2. Thanks for the refreshing, entertaining reminder!

    1. Glad you enjoyed, Christina! Fortunately, my peach tree grows outside my kitchen window, so it preaches sermons to me during every season.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Cara! You're a master at handling the lotsa-lotsa peaches syndrome. Would love you hear your tips!

  4. How's about the "luke-warm" shoulder? Didn't mention that season among the pits.

    Just teasing. Very fun way to get your point across and encourage all us aspiring-to-change-and-bless-the-world writers.


    And thanks to you, my mouth is watering for a sweet, ripe, plucked from the tree peach.

    1. Chana, Well, I kinda hinted at the half-ripe opportunities, anyway, that plunked out of reach! You're right, though. Lukewarm doesn't go over well with God (Rev.3)or with writers!

      You deserve the peach. Wish I could send you cyber one that would taste as good :-)

  5. Some of us are strawberry plants while all the pie makers want only peaches. No worries! I'm off to find some shortcake lovers.

    1. Hey, In case you hadn't noticed, I'm all about shortcake, too--strawberry, peach praline--probably anything short of artichoke.

  6. Very creative and humorous. Thanks for sharing. Jeff

  7. Thanks, Jeff! May the Lord help all of us hold up our branches!

  8. Rachael, I think you got to the root of the problem here. Some authors' bark is worth than their bite, but yours was definitely worth climbing lest you leaf me behind. (Insert as many groans as you need.) Did you write this piece at home, or at your branch office? ;)

    P.S. Loved it!

  9. LOL, you're a hoot, Rick! You've also used up the rest of my peach tree word plays, so I'm in a jam--oh well, all but that one :-)

  10. Rachael, I love this! You gave me the much needed push to climb "out on a limb" to grab the best peaches.

    I'm published with two e-book companies who also do full-length, but I'm ready to reach for the cream of the crop, as in a contract with a major publisher.

    You inspired me to keep digging around that tree and fertilizing it.

  11. Keep at it, Laurean! May the Lord give you a super-peachy harvest :-)