Who would think that a miniature pomegranate tree could still be decorating a winter garden in January? Its leaves are as golden as the majestic Colorado Aspen, yet I get to see it each day in my own backyard until the winter gales blow its beauty away.

Did you know that the pomegranate is the first cultivated fruit in the ancient Middle East as depicted in mosaics, murals, and carvings? It started in Iran, travelled to India, and then spread throughout the Mediterranean. Spanish settlers introduced it to Latin America.

Historically, the pomegranate is a symbol of fertility and immortality. Its healing properties are discussed on papyrus from Egypt circa 1500 B.C. The pomegranate is prominent in both Greek and Persian mythology advertising life, regeneration, and marriage. In Jewish tradition, its 613 seeds correspond with the 613 Torah Commandments. The Quran features pomegranates as the good things God creates. Both Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions depict the pomegranate as a fruit found in the Garden of Paradise. Could it have been the infamous “apple?”

Today, we see pomegranate products on grocery shelves prominently displayed as the latest and greatest medicinal tonic. Did you know that pressed pomegranate juice has three times higher antioxidants than its equal of green tea or red wine?

All I know is that it is a beautiful tree in all its seasons, a delectable fruit, and an essential ingredient for Lebanese cuisine. Therefore, it takes an exalted place in my backyard both as a full-grown and a miniature tree.

Have you blessed your body sensually, medicinally, and spiritually lately with the royal pomegranate?

Memories of years gone by

The fruit shop was our first call

That lovely redsome fruit

Shaped like a cannonball

A pomegranate is its name

Cut in half with a knife

Showing those juicy red seeds

Made your tongue come to life!

Gordon McConnell

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