Tag Archives: California

Olive Trees

22 Feb

Hiking six hours in the Qadisha Valley of Lebanon brought along lots of welcome surprises. When we stopped for lunch I was stunned and instantly sent back to my childhood climbing the branches and squishing the purple olives of virtually identical olive trees in a place that could not be more different than small town California.

Olive Trees

I was hiking through the Qadisha (Holy) Valley in Lebanon
when I stopped in front of an olive tree and in an instant I was 7 and 27:

I was swinging 7,000 miles to the West from the strong armed branches,
squishing the sour berries between my small stampeding shoes and

I am gazing over the tree gently shaking off the gusts of time,
leaves turning over to the tune of the ever moving wind –
taking it in and letting it wash over me.

From the brown crackled body grow its ash grey limbs
where I’d entrust my whole body weight
and it only let me down once.

Two-tone peals of leaves shimmer in the temporal sun:
silver and the softest green. Below the tree and painting
the ground are the grape sized olives, deep inky blue black
that stain the fingers purple and leave the sidewalk
with the footprints of youth.