The little tree held its curly head proudly above the smaller plants by its roots. It looked almost sidelined sat by the metal fence in Gianni’s garden.

But in reality it was the dearest in his heart. Placed carefully in a position where he could see it from every angle of the house. As he opened the home gate on the steep hill it peeked hallo with a lopsided smile from the middle top of the tiered garden, its view unobstructed by the giants , the imposing pine trees on right, the willow tree in the middle and the apple and pear trees close to the entrance. He could glance at it from the height of his vegetable garden through a corridor of descending steps, still and fluffy like a green cloud. When he opened his front door he turned his head just slightly to the left to be greeted by it. And from spring through summer to late autumn they could waive to each other in the garden from everywhere he sat.

The little tree was very fond of the silver haired man bordering eight decades of life. What did the little pomegranate bush know compared to him? It would watch him climb up trees furtively to pick their fruit before his wife could shout, ‘You’ll break your back you old fool!’. It saw him embrace his only daughter as she crossed the gates of his garden with heavy suitcases coming home from a far away land- his smile would light up the pomegranate tree like when clouds moved away. It watched him feed the cats and see off his son daily- his little sapling grown into an imposing man. It witnessed the times he sat pondering in silence, wiping a secret tear away in memory of people gone.

Most of all it loved his care for all the living, saplings, twigs in the air or breathing. And even more it cherished the moments he would prune its leaves and water its roots in afternoon heat, spraying away the bugs with sulphur mixed in water. They both sat patiently watching the cycles of season give meaning to life, chasing away the misery of self-obsession. And then he watched with pride the one and only pomegranate on its branch grow slowly into autumn when his soft hand would finally reach out for it.



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