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  • I entered the orchard and stopped under the first big tree. I looked up at its unfamiliar dark green leaves. The underside was golden. What was this elegant tree?

    I found out that it was the Durian, King of Fruits.

    There were seven of these trees, two varieties. The other variety is the Dalit. The fruit is smaller than the durian, the size and shape of a very big grapefruit. The edible part inside is deep salmon-orange.

    I had begun gardening, and had planted here as well, the narrow strip along the bank of a tiny stream which became a bigger and deeper stream further down where we used to refresh ourselves when we visited our grandmother.
    Grandmother, or Tokuying as we called her, was known by her Chinese name, Kuan Sim. Her father was from the sacred province of China, Shantung (now Shandong). She has a Christian name, Brigidda, but I have never heard it used. This was one of her orchards.

    I was working at the far end when the most exquisite fragrance reached me. I walked towards it, looking around. Then I saw it. Up above, on the last but one durian tree. The most gorgeous blooms covered the tree trunk and branches. A dogwood of a tree in spring.

    It bore one small fruit. Then the first tree bloomed. Then the second. The Dalit not only bloomed, it bore copious fruit. Bear fruit! I expressed my hope, standing under those trees. They must have heard me. The first two trees dropped many fruits. I planted the seeds carefully. I covered them with biodegraded Boondoo (a jungle tree growing to great height and girth, bearing long mango-like fruit). The richness of "earth" decomposed from the massive tree trunk !

    The seeds sprouted. Tiny golden leaves. Then tiny golden trees. The King of the Fruits. It has no equal.

    I watered the big trees and the little seedlings. I nurtured them for in the beauty of the durian I saw the loveliness of my conceptions that had not manifested as young girls here on contemporary Earth. My daughters, I named them all, variations on a theme, Wisdom.

    For seven years the King of the Fruits in my grandmother's orchard put out hundreds of buds and dropped many of these and the other parts that made up its flower so that the leaf-littered ground was covered with them.

    When I was visiting Queensland, I bought a tray of finished woven cane. It was a souvenir that had sat on the mantlepiece over two different fireplaces. The way we were. Memories light the corners of my mind. I filled this tray - over and over again - with the flowers dropped by the King of the Fruits.

    Enjoy Durian flowers out today on my fruit tree and other glorious regal photos by emblatame
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