At dinner the other night my friend Tina was really upset. “My neighbor cut down the trees that shaded my house,” she said, “and the county tore down a perfectly good school, the school where my boys learned to read! ” Then, of course, there was climate change.
“Have a fig,” I said. “A fig from George’s tree.”
A fig tree planted in Raleigh, North Carolina, by George’s grandmother, who sailed from Sparta, Greece, in 1927, and landed at Ellis Island in New York. She packed a twig from her mother’s fig tree along with her bridal veil. Every summer its limbs are bent with figs the size of a hen’s egg.
For thousands of years, fig-trees have traveled the world as heirlooms.
Since the night we had dinner, Tina has started a farmers market in a parking lot not far from the torn-down school, she’s looking at trees to plant to give her shade, and seventeen-year-old Greta Thunberg sailed to New York to excoriate the do-nothing world leaders at the United Nations about climate change, sailing past Ellis Island and tracked by young people all over the world.
And George’s fig tree looks like it may produce a bumper crop next year.