The Blessed Olive Tree that Never Dies

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As a teenager, I used to load two-handled jars full of water on our donkey. I then drove the donkey where my father had planted a few olive trees and I watered them.

Decades later, I inherited those and other mature olive trees, some of them centuries old. But with the death of my father, and with me being in America, my agrarian dreams shattered. A person from my village mismanaged my olive trees pretty badly. He used to give my old mother two gallons of oil per year. The same trees used to give my father more than two hundred gallons of oil per year.

When I visited the village and, with my sister Georgia, walked in my olive groves, I felt the olive trees did not recognize me. Most trees were in a state of neglect. Others were on the verge of destruction. I kept urging Georgia to protect them.

Georgia in Greek means agriculture. So my sister Georgia always promised to fulfill my wishes: protect the olive trees. But, being a city girl, she never did and not because she did not want to. She had her own family and it was not easy to spend time in the village.

My olive trees, like the olive trees of Greece, are witness of Greek history. As Greece was forced to abandon the blessed gods for alien Christianity, goddess Athena was exiled and the Parthenon became a Christian church, a Moslem mosque, and a ruined building. Athena’s olive trees lost their sacredness and immortality. They became simply a source of olives and oil.

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