Kate’s Texan grandparents retired to a lovely ranch in the Hill Country near Johnson City. The lower acreage made a splashing sandwich of the Pedernales (pardon me, “PER-der-nales”) and the upper rise hosted an orchard abundant with pecan and peach, apricot and apple trees.
It was during a spring visit there that I watched the art and science of grafting take place. Her grandfather consulted regularly with University extension teams to maximize crop production and quality. Placing each new graft was a minimally invasive surgical procedure with specific protocols and expectations.
As I write so often in my health care work: “These exceptional outcomes reflect the benefit of experienced-based advances.” And as I remember so fondly, the resulting peaches would send juicy rivulets down one’s wrists on first bite.
Reading this NPR post brought a rush of those memories back: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/04/07/150142001/guerrilla-grafters-bring-forbidden-fruit-back-to-city-trees
It also has me considering what personal changes I might choose to “graft” at this point instead of planting entirely new seeds. I’m thinking it has to do with age climbing and time flying and still desiring to become what I believe I was planted to be. So, if I graft a small cutting of healthier eating onto an existing branch of working out, will it carry me where to the place I envision? And if I graft a tiny twig of tolerance into conversations I’d rather write off with less than due respect, will something better grow? What will the harvest be? Will I get to taste it?