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The Chinese Bamboo Tree
by Talia Applebaum

Do you know about the Chinese Bamboo Tree? Plant its seed in the ground. When you'll go to see if it has grown, you'll see nothing. For years you'll see nothing, except a tiny shoot sprouting from a bulb.

You'll go out to the garden time after time. You'll peer at it from all sides to discern if perhaps from a hidden place, something is growing. You'll stand before this tiny sprout and tap your foot impatiently grumbling, "Grow already grow!"

You'll reprimand it saying, "Is this my reward for going out on a sweltering summer day to dig a hole under the scorching sun's rays to plant you? I did it lovingly though. I planted you with love and hope. I obtained the best soil for you. I fed you the most nutritious plant food and watered you religiously. I withheld neither toil nor money."

You'll try coaxing, with gentle words. "Precious, please grow. I'm chalishing to see you grow tall and strong and revel in your towering majesty."

You'll resort to threats. "If you don't start growing within 3 days, I'm going to pluck you from the land of the living! I mean it, you'll see these are no empty threats!"

Then manipulation, "Bamboo sweetheart, take a look around. Haven't you noticed all the other foliage in the garden has grown in leaps and bounds, stunning the eyes, gladdening the heart!"

Employing guilt tripping you'll say, "Bamboo, have compassion on an aging woman! Give me the satisfaction of seeing you grow if only a few inches before my time comes to go to The Supernal Garden on High!

You'll sing to it, "Little Bamboo grow, grow, grow/ Your loveliness I want to know/ In your shade I'll sit all day/ as I watch the children play."

As a last ditch effort you'll bring an authentic Chinese person to speak to it in its own language! And what will you get in return… zilch, nothing, silence!

Your frustration will know no bounds! You'll want to pounce on it and stomp the life out of it! You'll exclaim in pain, "For years I watered you with my own sweat and tears!"

Then just when you're ready to call it quits and lay down your watering can…

In the fifth year…
In the fifth year…
It'll grow 80 feet tall.

Talia Applebaum is the editor and publisher of A Woman's Way: A Journal for the Jewish Woman. To obtain a complimentary copy contact talia66@zahav.net.il


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