Well, it is that time of the year again, when our 75 macadamia nut trees shed their fruit and litter the orchard with hundreds of thousands of nuts.
There is no easy way to harvest mac nuts, by the way when you are a small operation like ours.
For an orchard like ours, it is all manual: bend down, pick up, repeat ad infinitum.
The season started early due to the changing climate, which meant our initial harvest brought in 20% immature nuts, which meant 20% of the first harvest was no good.
Hmm… So I have a confession.
Until really recently, I really hated picking mac nuts. I don’t mean I had a small amount of dislike for the experience. I mean I really really disliked everything about the process.
Even the tools that are developed to scoop up the nuts- a wire basket on a stick that spins as you roll it on the ground, doesn’t seem to offer much more ease. Instead of bending down and picking up, I push a spinning stick. Either way, my back or my shoulders get sore.
So I’m out in the orchard a year ago, and I come up with the clever idea to download my orchard that every time I am harvesting nuts, creator of all that is is organizing my classes, clients, etc… And that was pretty good motivation, because every time after I was in the orchard, clients would call to book, students would email about classes. It was loads of abundance coming my way.
Still… I hated picking up those nuts that always seemed to hide in the grass and cling to it like their life depended on it. The more I hated picking them up, the more they seemed to make it difficult for me to pick them up.
I also found that this did nothing for the fact that I hated picking up nuts. In fact, all the resentment I had towards the nuts got pushed onto my students, clients, and classes in some weird warped mind-game. I felt like if I wasn’t out picking nuts, I wouldn’t get clients.
So that plan was a bust.
Fast forward to this summer. I’m in the north western most part of the orchard, out back in the area I refer to as the fairy grotto, for obvious reasons (fairies hang there!) and I’m angry at the nuts again.
I immediately crack up. Because, the irony is hilarious, you see. As a child and teen, people used to call me nuts, and now I OWN a NUT FARM! So, as I am arduously picking up handfuls of nuts, I’m laughing, because I realize I really have gone full circle.
As a teen, I was highly emotional, probably “nuts” in some people’s opinions; fast forward to now, here I am a self-proclaimed “healer” who is supposed to help people recover heal and sustain equanimity, and now I am “cracking up” over having to pick up nuts.
When I finally stopped laughing, I started to ask myself some very important questions.
Questions, like, “Why do you hate picking up nuts?” and “Why are you so angry at all the abundance around you, Amy?”
So I started to answer my questions:
I answered: “I hate picking up nuts, because I am NOT ready for all of them. I don’t have the machinery I need to pick them up, and so I have to do it by hand, and it sucks picking up millions of nuts by hand. It requires a lot of effort, and my time is worth more than the time I spend picking up these nuts. If I could just get my hands on my own processing equipment, then I would be motivated to pick up these nuts, because I would make more and have my own mac nut business.”
Let me pause for a second and point out another really funny thing about the way I think.
I was angry because there is too much abundance. So let me clarify something for you. Having 75 mac nuts trees in season is like having a field full of nickels. They aren’t quite pennies- they’re nickels, which means, they add up.
Here I am being pissed off at my orchard for giving me money. Sheesh.
Really, though, what I was upset about was the fact that there was all this “money” around, and provided I put forth the effort, I would see a return on this. Really, I was angry that I had to move my body and all the nickels couldn’t magically just find there way into my bank account.
So this is interesting: effort. There is a fine line between “efforting” and “inspired action.” Clearly, at this moment I had this thought, I hadn’t quite figured it out. There was something blocking me from taking the inspired action and holding me in efforting-land.
So the next answer to the question: “Why are you so angry at all the abundance around you, Amy?” went something like this:
“because it isn’t easy to get these nuts into the bag. Some of them just don’t want to come, and I try to pick them up, and they just seem to evade my grasp. And even if I do get all the nuts in my bag, 20% of them seem to- for whatever reason- be immature. It is exhausting and draining, and I resent them for being immature and wasting my time.”
Interesting response, Amy’s inner monologue.
So, obviously, gang, this isn’t really about nuts anymore, is it?
Just thought I would put that out there.
I realized this summer- a summer I purposefully took “off” from teaching, because Corey and I got married, and I wanted to focus my energy on the farm- that I was harboring some sadness and resentment about being a teacher and about being a healer.
I was really angry- and had been for a very long time- at myself and at my students, clients and potential clients- all of them from time immemorial: future, past and present.
I was heavy with the weight of sadness and disappointment that these beings had all the tools to be better, and only a handful of them knew what to do with them, how to wield them effectively and even fewer were taking inspired action to do so. I was so sad that the world had become the place we see on the news.
I was heartbroken.
So, I stopped gathering nuts. I sat down in my orchard, and I cried.
I cried for long enough for it to become funny, that I was crying over “my nuts,” and I forgave myself for feeling like I failed them. I forgave my students for failing to meet my expectations. I forgave people for being people.
I realized then that every “nut” has a particular timing.
Some “nuts” go on to become processed in the factory, flavored, and sold to tourists who come visiting.
Some “nuts” end up in my living room, being cracked and eaten for snacks, dinner and sometimes dessert.
Some “nuts” stay put in the orchard, decomposing, becoming the soil.
Some “nuts” sprout and become little “keiki” mac nut trees.
Regardless of what these nuts become, there is no incorrect outcome.
The harvest has become a lot more fun since that day, and a whole lot easier.