To celebrate the 350th anniversary of the college's foundation, my predecessors planted a mulberry tree. That was 400 years ago, as we just celebrated our 750th anniversary.The "old tree" really is rather old, and looks it: the trunk is doubled-back on itself, looking rather like a twisted old man. Even so, after four hundred years, it still produces a great many mulberries every year. These are like blackberries, but around an inch or two in length, and are much sweeter.The sign underneath the tree notes that "Fellows, students, and college staff alike enjoy eating the fruit, even after four hundred years" - to that, I can certainly add the fact that it is a firm favourite with my sons, now 1 and 3 years of age.The haiku is of a time when my dear wife and I happened to find ourselves at college together, under the mulberry tree, picking the heavy, sweet fruits. The juice itself is not four centuries old, as it is renewed every year, like a pu'er tree. However, the sweetness is smooth and substantial, just like old-tree tea.The image that makes this haiga finishes the link to our tea-table, where I have the very great honour of enjoying the seasonal flowers from our garden, kindly and quietly placed there each week by the same dear wife that picks mulberries at Balliol.Toodlepip,Hobbes
Kind of amazing something 400 years old can still be vibrant with life..makes you wonder about the shortness of human life..
So vibrant - and so tasty!
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