The landscape is dotted with these shy shady trees, left unattended for years, their fruit ungathered, branches unpruned. Maybe they prefer this as they are shy trees hiding their berries behind raspy leaves. Maybe they don’t and they miss the human hands fondling them as the juicy berries are plucked out of their hiding.
The island is windy, and the tree protective of its fruit SO holds onto them. Tempted passers by reaching to pick get a good drenching, hands of a murderer! But there is a way to coax with minimum damage to fruit and outfit. I have been studying the matter closely for a long time! Remember the tree is shy..address it with this quality and be gentle, for shy likes gentle..
Gently put 3 fingers around
the mature fruit and move it without
pressing in 4 directions and you will be surprised how it gives way,
releases itself into your palm. It takes some practice to develop “the touch” but it comes…
three fingers and a little bit of 6th sense… The interaction is most fulfilling as you exercise gentleness and are rewarded with such delightful sensations of taste and touch.
The leaves are truly tricky in the way they weave around their beloved fruits, shading them from crows, protecting them from the wind, so in goes my head under the branches, out it goes to the right then to the left, a dark shadow promising ripe fruit is hinted at and it takes a bit of time to focus in on it, out reaches 3 fingers with 6th sense… Yum!
The cycladic windsong rustle of leaves in your ears, the divine taste of the berries, the sharpened and exercised sight, the communion with one of the most ancient trees of our larger area from the caspian to the aegean islands is full of delights!
There is also another occasional reward, our crow brothers who have never stopped keeping company with the mulberry tree unlike the island humans. A freshly dropped black feather! I have three so far from this seasons gatherings, and season has just begun!! They congregate in big loud groups, feed and gossip and enjoy, what a wonderful clamour they make. I invite you to explore this ancient tree, honor its abundance and co-creation with the human family.
story: the mulberry trees in tinos, morus nigra, june 2021, nilufer caglar
photo: sofia arampatzoglou