Yesterday I started to harvest mesquite pods.  For those of you who don’t know (I just recently learned this too) the dry beans can be ground into a tangy flour and used in baking.  Being a passionate cook with a mesquite tree in her front yard, I decided to harvest the beans this year and give it a try.  I went out there, bucket in hand, and began to pluck the beans from the tree.  the trick, I had read, was to just tug on them very gently-if they do not come off easily they are not ready for harvesting.  I got a few off of the lower branches , but most had already fallen to the ground and consumed by rodents and bugs. 

Then I looked up.

At the top of the tree there were a lot of beans that were just right!  My mind started racing excitedly, and I began to try different strategies for getting the beans into my bucket.  I tried grasping the branches and pulling them towards me, but that was very unsuccessful.  I tried to shake the tree, but that was ridiculously ineffective.  Finally, I realized what I had to do.  I took a breath, set my bucket in a safe place, and climbed the tree. 

Although it was more difficult, and I ended up being bitten by a few bugs, I finally managed to grasp the beans at the top.  And they were exactly what I needed.  And now I have lots of beans to be ground into flour, and that makes me pretty happy.

While I was up in the tree, I started to think about how so many life events work the same way.  We always have a few options whenever something that requires work enters into our life:

  1. We can put in little effort (picking from the lowest branches)
  2. We can try to take shortcuts so we are not inconvenienced (grabbing the branches)
  3. We can do it the right way, even when it’s more difficult (climbing the tree)

This can go for anything-relationships, school, jobs, morals, etc.  I’ll admit, sometimes I try to take the shortcut.  If there is a way to do something that’s easier, even though it may sacrifice effectiveness, it seriously tempts me.  But I try to do it the right way, even when it’s hard or frustrating. 

So I guess I’ll end this post with a question: what kind of harvester are you?