• Lara Flanagan

Guardian of the Lemon Tree

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

I had brilliant intentions.   You see I have a tree full of lemons, I have given some away, I have made lemon curd cupcakes, I have frozen some and I seem to still have lemons.  I went outside yesterday to pick some – thus my brilliant intentions.  I had the idea of a fabulous Vegan Lemon tart.   I am not sure how I was going to make this creation but the idea has been bubbling away inside my head for some time.  I want a shell of some description filled with the most incredibly decadent, tart lemony filling.  I am not sure whether to have a pastry like crust or a biscuit like crust.  I shall let my cravings guide me – my life seems to be constantly driven by cravings.  So I headed outside with my white bowl, I donned my gum boots and started picking lemons.    But there was so much sunshine.   I could smell the lemons as I picked them and I suddenly felt inexplicably, deliciously lazy.    I knew there and then that the lemon tart was just not going to happen that day.

I was also feeling indescribably smug.   There is something so satisfying about picking your own produce that you have grown yourself, whilst planning an amazing dessert that you still have not created a recipe for.  It is the sort of moment that makes you want to grab your phone and fill your Instagram and Facebook feed with the types of bragging #Iamamazing #justaccidentallytookthisphotoofmyself type of photos that make most people look at them and go – oh please, what bullshit, let’s see what the rest of her day really looked like.

I did not really get past picking the lemons.   I ended up lying in the sun with the dogs, smelling my lemons and grabbing an accidental nanna nap.   I love my lemon tree.  For someone who has a notorious black thumb it seems to thrive with my neglect.  

I don’t water it, I don’t prune it, I don’t do whatever it is you are meant to do for fruit trees but it continues to thrive despite me.  That is because it is not my lemon tree and I am merely the guardian of it.   I am not sure if I found my house or my house found me. Sometimes when I see the next door apple and orange tree I suspect it might be the latter.  Someone has told me it is simply two trees growing so closely together that it appears as if it is one tree producing two fruit.   I don’t like to listen to people sometimes and I would prefer to believe it is a tree similar to that of the Magic Faraway Tree.  Some people talk such rubbish it annoys me.

So because of the Magic Faraway Tree that looks over us and the indestructible lemon tree I am of the belief that my house found me. It has a rhythm to it.  That little sentence I can not explain, but it is an easy rhythm that matches the slightly out of whack beat that my little family marches to. It is not a perfect rhythm by any stretch of the imagination, it is sometimes flawed, sometimes a little off kilter but for me and the two monsters it is perfect.   And my furniture fit.   As in it looks like it was designed for the house – designed exactly to fit.  The house is ideal.   Not too small, not too large but just right. So in terms of looking for a home for the three of us it was as if it was sitting here waiting for us.

The dogs and chooks came later as did the realisation that I was now the guardian of the Lemon Tree.   I suspect as long as I am in awe of what it can produce with so little effort from me and that I simply love it, that it will keep producing lemons.   I sometimes worry what would happen if something happened to it, considering my lack of skills as a Lemon Tree Guardian.  But I have faith that it will remain, because it is part of this house, now my house, and the simple life of my little family.

What my lemon tree taught me yesterday was that sometimes you don’t have to do anything. Sometimes, just picking lemons is enough. I managed to grab a quick unplanned nanna nap, I got some sunshine and my hands smelt like citrus for the rest of the day.   And inside my head is still an amazing citrus tart to make.

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