The Lemon Tree


For the last couple of mornings I have been squeezing the juice from half a lemon into a glass of water and drinking it before I eat. I’d read that there are several advantages to doing this such as aiding digestion and the added benefit of vitamin C. As for the rest, I can’t remember.

This morning I squeezed the juice over a spoon to catch seeds as yesterday I ended up with three in the bottom of my glass. The seeds popped out and I placed them one by one on the counter. When I was done there were several seeds sitting there. I began gathering them up, preparing to throw them out when I was suddenly hit by another of my favourite childhood memory.

When I was little, probably around eight, I found some lemon seeds. I imagine I scooped them off the counter or out of a lemon my mother had just finished using. I remember taking the seeds and laying them somewhere to dry. My mother always grew a fairly substantial vegetable garden and so I knew about drying seeds out before planting them. As to whether or not anyone knew I had these seeds, I don’t recall.

Several days later, I pushed my dried seeds into the dirt inside a flowerpot. My mother had a number of houseplants and there were always pots and small bags of potting soil. I watered the seeds and left the pot in the basement.

My oldest brother (by 12 years) had a bedroom in the basement and I believe he found me watering the dirt one day (there may have been a sprout). He asked me what I was doing and I told him that I had planted lemon seeds. I think he told me he would keep it in his room so that it would get some sunlight through his window. He said that he would help me take care of it. He did and the lemon tree grew.

When my brother moved out probably a year or so after that and he took the lemon tree with him. Whenever I visited, he would show me the tree. He nurtured and cared for it and whenever he moved to another apartment, it went with him. As the years passed, and my brother married and moved into his first house, he brought the tree with him. When I visited, he would show me the tree with its glossy green leaves and once I think it even had tiny lemons. I was always surprised and pleased that he still had the tree.

The tree is now long gone but right at this moment, sitting on a piece of paper towel are several lemon seeds. I think I will dry them out, plant them, and see what happens. After all, when life gives you lemons…. plant the seeds and grow a tree.


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