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
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
© 2009 by Jewish Writing Institute. All rights reserved.
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