An orange tree grows in an empty lot. It wasn’t always empty. Not too long ago it was accompanied by a little house. The house was new. A model for a construction company to showcase its ability to put detail into affordable homes. Detailed it was with floor molding and a dusting of gingerbread on the outside. Its first owners were a couple that showed their love for the house by adding to it. They attached to it a large lanai in the back and a shed for their equipment. Heavy railroad ties were meticulously cut and stacked to make a raised bed for a row of roses. Ground was dug for various small ponds and trees were planted for their beauty.
After a few years, they sold the house and moved away. A new couple moved in. Blessed with children this couple didn’t have the money to expand or redecorate the house. Instead, they showed their love by maintaining it. They mowed and vacuumed and dusted and polished every weekend. And when they found a little extra money, they did something to put their mark on the little house. They planted an orange tree.
The tree was small, but held promise. The father of the family took care and showed his children the right way of planting the tree so that it would grow strong and live well.
Then one day, they lost the house. Not to the market crashing or loss of a job. No the economy was in a boom when it happened. For some reason the chairman of the county commissioners got the idea that the whole neighborhood and those surrounding it would be an ideal place to turn into a metropolis. Never mind that nobody was asking for one. So with a great pitch of jobs, money, and better economy coming into the county; the board of commissioners agreed with his plan and voted to get the land by Eminent Domain.
There was nothing the family could do. They took the money that was offered and moved away. Soon after other’s came in to strip the house of what items could be salvaged and given to Goodwill. The ponds, the shed, the light fixtures, even the proverbial kitchen sink were all stripped from the house until all that remained was a windowless shell of a house. Then the bulldozers came. It didn’t take them long to finish up what the strippers started. By the time they were done, all that was left was the driveway. A week later that was gone. Nothing survived, but that little orange tree. There had been no fruit on it at the time and it was so small that nobody could be bothered with it. It stood there silently through all the commotion and was left in silence.
The deleopment never happend. After hearing about the eminent domain of houses, the people turned on the commissioners. The chairman quit and moved away. Various companies came with plans but all quickly resinded them upon hearing the how the land was aquired and the disapproval that came with it. Finally the husing market crashed and no words of builing or development have been uttered since.
It didn’t take long for nature to take back what was once hers. Oblivious to it all, nature continued on her way. First with the weeds and then the grass, and finally some shrubs. Without as much as a peep, nature remade the land. Through it all the little orange tree grew. It grew strong, tall and full. And now the tree planted with love provides the food and shelter to those creatures great and small that know where to look.