“Wilderness and desert will sing joyously, the badlands will celebrate and flower— Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom, a symphony of song and color. Isaiah 35:1
For five years I’ve watered, trimmed, picked oranges, tossed out oranges, shipped oranges, and picked fruit off the ground. I’m done. I’ve had it with that tree. Besides, it is the only living plant in my yard that is not drought resistant, which means I have to keep the automatic irrigation system going year around.
This summer I decided to shut off the water and let the tree die peacefully. But neighbors and friends started to protest. “You can’t kill a beautiful shade tree like that!” Well, I can, and I still might. Last year was a poor year to have citrus–like 99% of the oranges on my prolific tree. In the valley, an infestation of insects put orange trees in peril and food banks refused to take citrus. I placed fruit by the curb to be picked up but ended up tossing most of it in the garbage, like my neighbor’s did.
Because we live in the desert, I believe we should be more concerned about our precious water supply than an orange tree. If I continue to pour thousands of gallons of water on a tree I don’t even want, some day I might need to cut back on taking as many showers as I wish or need.
Lord, help me discern whether to cut the tree down or let it survive. Amen.