Sunday, November 9, 2008

Of Politics and Persimmons

It occurs to me that there is a synchronicity of timing in the national elections and the ripening of persimmons. Persimmons seem to hang on the tree for many months - first as small and insignificant green nubbins about the size of a cherry (but they are not sweet or edible yet), gradually growing to the size of a small green apple (but still not sweet or edible). The persimmon persists through the fruiting season of the stone fruits, then pears and apples gradually growing larger but remaining green, hard and inedible. This also coincides with the election cycle of the primary (cherry season), general election campaigning of the summer and fall, then November election day. Still the persimmon waits for the hard, harsh first frost as it gradually blushes with color. Finally, just in time for Thanksgiving, and in appreciation for a conclusion to the long and drawn out election contest, the persimmon is ready.

John planted a young persimmon tree near the dining room window. Its orange fruit with still green caps droop patiently. The tree is too young to have such heavy fruit, but I could not bear denuding it last summer.

I guess a politician should have such a tree.

Last night, for the first time we both saw the movie "All the Kings Men" starring Broderick Crawford. This morning I looked up Huey Long in Wikipedia and wondered the fate of our new president elect, Barack Obama. At the outset of his political career the character Willie Stark was that rare phenomenon - an honest man.

Abraham Lincoln was an honest man who came to the presidency in a time of national crisis. Will Barack Obama be more like Abraham Lincoln or the fictional character Willie Stark?

In the spring when these persimmons were little nubbins and the young tree still lived in a plastic tub, we did not know who the Democratic nominee for president would be. Now let's eat persimmon pudding this Thanksgiving Day and give thanks for such sweet and complex fruit!

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