This week the apricots are ripening.

I’m not the only one to have noticed—the crows, and another Aussie bird I haven’t identified yet, are eager to get their share of the harvest. I can’t begrudge them too much: unlike the tomatoes and the strawberries, the pumpkin and the cucumber that are growing in the vegetable patch, I haven’t labored over this fruit tree. It was here when we came, planted, cared for, and pruned by others more diligent and experienced than I. The rain, not my hose, nurtured it. Its fruit, rather than the expression of my own toil, is pure gift.

Some people seem naturally good at giving. What’s theirs seems to leave their hands easily, without their thinking seriously of tomorrow or next week’s needs. I, on the other hand: what’s mine is mine. I’m happy to give, but let’s just make sure all my needs are met first. OK.

The apricots are different. The birds, our neighbors, you there, walking past our house—would you like some of this delicious fruit? Freely received, freely given.