More than 30 years ago my father transplanted a pear tree in the back yard. He was big on planting trees and bushes, nurturing them to watch them flourish. Ten years after we moved from Hickory Valley, Tennessee, he drove 110 miles back to dig up a fig bush we'd left behind. It now grows on the south side next to the house.
Today, both the fig bush and pear tree produce an abundance of fruit. Daddy lived long enough to enjoy the figs, but passed away long before the pear tree produced. I remember him fertilizing around it and wondering if it ever would bear fruit."
Over the past month while visiting my mother, I've gathered three large bags of the delicious fruit, My mother has called in friends and neighbors, and given loads of pears to us children. Still, innumerable pears hang on the tree and at least a hundred are scattered beneath it.
After gathering the fruit and setting the heavy sack on the table, I turned to my mother and asked,. "Do you think Daddy ever considered he might be leaving a legacy behind when he planted the pear tree? I wonder what he'd say if he knew people from miles around are coming with baskets to gather pears."
She shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know, but it really puts out the fruit.
A gift that keeps on giving. My dad would be pleased to know he's sharing pears with his small community. He was a giving person. Who can count the jars of preserves that have been made from that one tree?
This brought another question to mind. Does everyone leave a legacy? Whether we know it or not, something we say, or some act of kindness we show to another, could become a legacy, changing their lives. Who knows what results may someday emerge from those kind words or deeds?
My fifth-grade teacher didn't live long enough to learn she'd planted a dream in my heart when she announced to the class, "One day Laurie will become an author." Her words were never forgotten, though it took a few decades before I acted on them.
My desire is that the words I write will become my legacy. I pray my stories will influence readers in a positive way. The best compliment paid would be to hear a reader say, "Thank you. Your story helped me through a difficult time."