The grower, an old hand at planting, has to know exactly where to plant his new seedlings. They have to have direct sunlight. If they are planted too far to the left of each other they will get more than a liberal amount of sun, and will gradually bend too far to the left because of the prevailing winds blowing from the west.
If planted too far to the right of each other, they'll receive less sun forcing them to conserve their energy. They’ll become too unbending and brittle, causing them to snap from the pressure of the winds from the east. But, if they are planted in the middle of each other they will be healthy, bear fruit and provide a greater profit for the grower.
As the trees grow to full maturity the farmer sprays them with life-
saving insecticides, protecting them from disease or infection, usually blown into their cloistered orchard by that fierce, attacking wind from the west or the somewhat defenseless breeze from parts of the Mideast.
Then, after many years and outliving their usefulness, the farmer can no longer protect them from outside influences. The heat, winds and infestation have slowly rotted away their outer skin. As the end nears, that fatal day arrives. The farmer, using his ax of deceit, chops down the old cherry trees. The remains are cut into small pieces and sold by the farmer as firewood. They’ve reached their full cycle and will ignite the pyre of their destiny, leaving behind the legacy of the farmer and the prodigy of their seeds of good intentions.
They were tricked by the farmer. No longer the young seeds of good intentions, they realize they were never nurtured with truth but deception. Never appreciated for the austere beauty of their blossoms or the hardships of survival or how the system of the orchard really works. Instead, their fruit was only a means for profit, manipulation and power sought by the farmer. They were duped by the hidden agenda of the farmer.
The cherry orchard reminds me of politics. Politicians are usually born from the seeds of good intentions and, like the farmer, a self-serving campaign manager who is an old hand at politics latches on to them, cultivates their hope of success, covers them with political fertilizer, showers them with insecticides of deceit and plants the fledgling political seedlings of democracy in the most likely spot for their success and his own personal profit.
The manager has to decide where to plant his newly found fodder for greed, power and influence. It can’t be too far to the left or the right in the political orchard of rhetoric. However, he doesn't want to expose his candidate to direct overhead sunlight. If he is illuminated in the middle he might be labeled as an independent and we know how difficult it is for both politicians and cherry trees to survive as independents.
Cherry trees do have their symbolisms. George Washington used a new hatchet his father gave him to chop down a cherry tree. He admitted his actions and told his father he did it because he couldn’t tell a lie.
On March 27, the Cherry Blossom Festival will begin in Washington, D.C. The Japanese gave us 3,000 cherry trees as gift of friendship in 1912, even though on Dec. 7, 1941, they broke the friendship and bombed Pearl Harbor. But this year, there may be more to celebrate than cherry blossoms.
Sen. Scott Brown, newly elected in Massachusetts, claims he is somewhat of an independent and not a rubber stamp for the conservative right. President Obama says he is willing to move from the left to the center, negotiate and work with the Republicans. If that is true, the fruit of the tree in the orchard of polemics will be evenly distributed and shared with everyone who depends on the political orchard for survival.
If lobbyist and extreme views from either side prevails and there are no meaningful solutions, creating a do-nothing Congress, the outer skin of the trees will root away.
On Election Day, all of us will have to take our hatchets, chop down the trees of power and give ourselves a gift of new trees in our Capitol. Otherwise, the farmer will plant his own seedlings and everything will remain the same, proving to the world that our democracy in the cherry orchard is the the pits.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Web site is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.