While the weather in Norway is still balmy and the streets aren't covered with ice, I have been walking to and fro between my apartment and church. It only takes about 15 minutes, and I'm even beginning to recognize some of the people that are often walking at the same time. There's been one question lingering in my mind though, and that has to do with a box of pears.
At about the halfway point of my walk is a house on a corner surrounded by a hedge. Inside of that hedge is a big yard. And in that yard there are two trees: a pear tree and an apple tree. Both of these trees are covered in ripe fruit right now, and my mouth always begins to water as I wander by.
And sitting on that hedge, bridging the border between street and home, is an old cardboard box top. It has been carefully bungee corded (yes, I know, that's not a word) to the hedge and inside the box is an abundance of ripe and juicy pears. For the past three weeks I have been walking by and wondering if that means I can eat them?
Not to say that I haven't eaten any of those pears before, but this morning I was officially welcomed to eat the pear offering!
As I walked by on my way to church, there was a man inside the yard sorting through the fallen pears from the pear tree, throwing out the bad ones, and placing the good ones in the box on the hedge. I smiled and nodded, saying 'Gud Morgen' (pronounced 'goo morn'), and in response this man started speaking to me in Norwegian. I didn't understand a word he was saying, since my Norwegian doesn't really exist yet, but through his tone of voice and his gestures, it was obvious that he was offering me a pear from the box. Walking back towards the hedge, I reached my hand out across the hedge, and the man reached his hand out and placed a juicy pear in my open palm.
We couldn't say much else to one another, at least not with words, but we shared a smile before I said 'tusen takk' and wandered on my way. And the pear? It was gone before I reached the church, my face and and hands sticky with juice to prove it.
10 years ago