Sometime around the end of May, the rains suddenly stopped and dry season began. Shortly thereafter the first guavas began appearing on the trees outside our apartment. For the Banks family, this is our first dry season and our first guava season. At first, this novel new fruit was welcomed by all. As more became ripe, the crowds and enjoyment grew. I’m not sure how to describe the taste exactly, there is a sweetness and a tartness. My boys describe the taste like a mix between a strawberry and a peach. I’m open to other suggestions. I was just excited to have such a delicious fruit growing right outside my backdoor.
|Zeke enjoying his first guava|
That is, until they started falling off the trees. And landing on my tin roof. In the middle of the night.
The guavas were becoming so ripe and so numerous that they would get too heavy for the branch and would fall off the tree. The problem is, many of the branches extend out over our roof. When the guavas fall and hit the thin layer of metal, it can sound like a gunshot going off. As more and more ripen, these loud noises are becoming more and more frequent. During the day, they are only mildly annoying and easy enough to ignore. But at night, as darkness and quietness descend on the compound, the guava rears its ugly head and goes, “BANG!!”
I have been woken so suddenly in the middle of the night by these loud noises that I have found myself in the middle of the living room, arms raised in a kung-fu pose, ready to protect my family, before I realized it was just a guava.
This fruit is starting to make me think of that guy at a party that doesn’t notice a hush has fallen and keeps talking in a too-loud voice. Only a guava can't feel embarrassment, he just continues making outburst after outburst.
At night, it takes me about 45 minutes or so to get the boys settled down for bed, read them a story, sing a song and pray. Then as I slowly leave their room and shut the door, it’s hard not to spend a few minutes cringing waiting for the next guava to bounce off the roof. And it usually doesn’t disappoint.
So recently I decided to take matters into my own hands. One afternoon, I found a very long bamboo stick and started whacking the guava tree outside my backdoor. I have to admit it felt pretty good. I enjoyed hearing those dozens and dozens of BANGs that were happening at 3:00 in the afternoon instead of 3:00 in the morning. I whacked and whacked until no more would fall. I must have knocked down a few hundred. There were still some guavas left, they just weren’t ripe enough to be knocked out of the tree. The boys helped me collect them and it made a nice gift to all the guards and night watchmen of the compound.
This situation has reminded me of the different seasons of life. Some are joyful, some are sad. Some we can’t wait to begin, and some we can’t wait to finish. But God has a plan to teach us something during each season. Even in the season of mild-guava-frustration, God is there, reminding us that there is still sweet fruit waiting for us. Fruit that He has provided. So as guava season is beginning to come to a close, I am encouraged to appreciate this season for what it is. And to enjoy the sweetness and the tartness that life has to offer.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together…