Pineapple is traditionally a symbol of “welcome” and hospitality. This is evidenced by the stone and wood pineapple ornaments often found in front of people’s houses, on the tops of posts or by the front door. And there are many light fixtures shaped like pineapples or containing pineapple finials. I have a stone pineapple ornament in my backyard. More significantly, I have numerous LIVE pineapples planted in my front yard, in different stages of development. This one is still green and small; it’s not ready yet for harvesting. I started growing most of the pineapples from the cutoff tops of store-bought fruit I ate. So whenever I consume a pineapple, I cut off the crown and plant it. It takes about 2 years for a new pineapple to emerge.
Today I started a photography workshop and our assignment was to take a photo of “home”. The pineapple represents home for me: the plants in my garden, the trees. I moved from a beautiful townhouse in Key Biscayne that I had remodeled, to the house I now live in, less than a year ago. Key Biscayne is an island just off the coast of Miami, connected to the mainland by a causeway. “Why would you move from Key Biscayne?!” many of my friends asked, incredulously, “living on the island is paradise.” Answer: to have fruit trees. I needed a yard. Do I miss Key Biscayne? Sure, I miss walking on the beach and the shorebirds… but I don’t regret the move. I’ve been enjoying my yard and garden tremendously. I only wish I had moved to a house with a LARGER yard. Some people collect pens, others collect coins; I collect fruit trees.
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