In the midst of a lot of drama this summer (doctor visits and surgery and jury duty, oh my!), I’ve been keeping my eye on the paw paw tree for a sense of hope and stability. And it’s been working. We have eight or nine paw paw fruit on our tree, some in pairs but mostly singles, and every week they grow a little bigger as if they’re being inflated by a bicycle pump when I’m not looking.
I don’t visit the tree each time I walk the dogs, because I follow the shade wherever I can find it and sometimes the tree is in full sun (good for the tree, bad for me, and my heat intolerance and tendency to sun poisoning), but I check on it at least once a day, and carefully duck under branches and around paw paw leaves to look at the growing fruit.
It helps to have a calm, gradual, positive thing in my life, while I have to do a lot of things that are (way) out of my comfort zone. The paw paw tree has been that reassuring thing this summer – that, and the dogs: Ellie’s sweet, loving face when she cuddles up next to me and asks for head scratchies, and Cricket’s great joy when she sees Kevin, the mini Golden Doodle, coming her way. The good things don’t make the bad things (the news) or the scary things (surgeries) go away, but they give me the strength to keep going, and I feel so lucky for that.
If you haven’t had a chance yet, please check out my Young Adult novel, Yeshiva Girl, on Amazon. And if you feel called to write a review of the book, on Amazon, or anywhere else, I’d be honored.
Yeshiva Girl is about a Jewish teenager on Long Island, named Isabel, though her father calls her Jezebel. Her father has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with one of his students, which he denies, but Izzy implicitly believes it’s true. As a result of his problems, her father sends her to a co-ed Orthodox yeshiva for tenth grade, out of the blue, and Izzy and her mother can’t figure out how to prevent it. At Yeshiva, though, Izzy finds that religious people are much more complicated than she had expected. Some, like her father, may use religion as a place to hide, but others search for and find comfort, and community, and even enlightenment. The question is, what will Izzy find?