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Have You Ever Studied a Pear?

October 29, 2022

Another Way for week of October 21, 2022

The Fruit of All Creation

Have you ever studied a pear?

Me neither. But at a recent church retreat at the lovely Massanetta Springs retreat grounds, besides enjoying fantastic October weather, gold and red trees, and an hour of creative enjoyment, we had a brief meditation service. We were told to focus on objects we had with us or creative projects various members had worked on.

We had just eaten lunch and the pear I grabbed for dessert was not ready to eat (they ripen so slowly!) so I studied my pear. How does a pear grow, anyway? From a blossom of course, on a tree, but what first spawned the tree? Did they grow in the “Garden of Eden”? Are they native in North America?

A nature website in Wisconsin says this of pears: “The ancient Greek author Homer described them as ‘gifts from the gods’ likely due to their sweet, juicy flavor.” Another gardening website, says the way you start a pear tree is to put just one pear seed in a pot. Then “put the pot or pots in a sunny place and keep the ground moist. The seeds should germinate and produce green growth in three months. After the pear trees grow one foot tall, you can place them in the ground.”

They make it sound unbelievably simple but I doubt mine would grow so easily. They may have first grown in China where they are extremely popular, according to one source.

As I studied my pear—wishing I could chomp into it—I noticed that a star shaped blossom remained imprinted on the bottom of the pear. At the top is the place where the pear had once hung from a branch on the tree. There were scuffs and bruised places on the pear, a hallmark on most pieces of this quick-to-rot fruit. Pears do not ripen on the tree, the experts tell us.

Since this was a church meeting, I especially enjoyed the song we sang following our meditation:

“For the fruit of all creation, thanks be to God….
For the plowing, sowing, reaping,
Silent growth while we are sleeping,
Future needs in earth’s safekeeping, thanks be to God.”

It is sung to an old Welsh tune, “Sleep, My Child and Peace Attend Thee, All Through the Night.” You may have heard that lullaby as a child or sung it to your own child or children.

Pears, apples and peaches are some of my favorite fruits, all grown on trees in much the same manner as written above. That reminds me of an apple story my oldest daughter shared recently.

She was a bit surprised when her just-turned-four youngest son asked her while watching one of his brother’s baseball games, “Mommy, can I have the apple I packed?” Her four-year-old had packed himself a snack? She said she was like, “What?!” but soon surmised that “When you’re the third child, you pack your own snack in Mom’s bag for big brother’s baseball game.”

And way to look out for yourself, Edward.

But back to the pear. One resource says “The early Romans developed 50 varieties of pear and planted them across Europe. Pears are not native to the United States. The first tree was planted in the U.S. in 1620.” I’m sure no actual pear survived the long journey to North America, so I’m guessing someone brought a seed or perhaps small plant in a pot.

My husband is not a big pear fan (he loves apples and peaches though) so I more often buy those fruits than pears. So I will enjoy my solitary pear. In a few days!


Studied an apple, or banana? Or an orange?? Let us hear thoughts on your favorite!

Or, did one of your children or grandchildren surprise you recently?


Comment here or Send to or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of ten books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  

  1. You’ve done some research here, and I’ve benefitted from knowing about the Chinese and Roman references. Thank you, Melodie!

    I have never studied the pear except to admire the luscious fruit hanging from Grandma Longenecker’s pear tree in the backyard, with fruit ripening in September. This week I adapted one of your recipes from Whatever Happened to Dinner. I say adapted because I did no cooking or baking for this dish. I served my sister two pear halves sprinkled with ginger and each wrapped in prosciutto on a bed of romaine lettuce. We both enjoyed it without the goat cheese because she doesn’t do dairy. A bit of synchronicity here, I’d say. 😀

    • My long ago memory of a pear tree on our farm in Indiana (with a decent orchard) was when my sister Pert decided to crawl up it’s uncertain branches. You know the rest: the branch fell and she broke her arm which was a big deal.

      So your Grandma had a pear tree–and I’m delighted to hear that you tried that recipe with the prosciutto! Carmen Wyse, the recipe writer (and married to Wayne who was on the team of videographers when our van got towed in NYC, as told in my memoir) …. would be happy to hear that you enjoyed and enhanced the small salad! Have a blessed Sunday!

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