The kumquat tree has been blooming. Its small white flowers form at the bases of leaf stems. When mature they open their petals and, in the shelter of their personal leaf, each offers a soft delicate citrus fragrance. They are like shy people with marvelous voices but sing only in the shower. A single voice may not travel far, but a chorus has a presence that surrounds and uplifts. Being next to the tree in bloom is like being next to an open window to a fragrance dreamland. And when their song is over, each one leaves a small green remembrance. It will grow into a bright orange fruit with a taste sweet and tart and bold, belying the shyness of its parent.
In the spring Suzie will make kumquat conserve that we will enjoy immensely. And we will wait in anticipation for the next generation of shy blooms.
About the author Clifford Hui