About 18 years ago, I took a couple of key lime seeds when in the Caribbean visiting with my mother. The key lime came from a key lime tree that was a housewarming gift to my mother. The couple who gave my mother the key lime tree have long since passed away. Anyway, I managed to get one of the seeds to germinate and grow. I took special care of that little plant & watched it grow slowly over nearly 2 decades. I did tons of research & knew that around the 7th year, the tree should fruit. It never did. I still loved that tree as it had a lot of meaning to me. I figured at least the leaves smelled great when crushed. (When it was smaller, I had to leave the plant up high or I would find my boston terror (yes, terror!) chewing laconically on one of the zesty leaves. At least it gave him good breath for once!
Anyway, for the first time this summer, I found a flower. Just one. It was tiny, white, & beautiful, & sadly fell off only a couple of days later. Suddenly, over the last few weeks, the tree has begun blooming again. I kept looking and hoping. My husband called me over today to look at the tree. It is nearly 5 feet tall and has long sharp thorns. There were three blooms out on the plant & several more ready to open. Somehow, there at the bottom of the plant, we had missed the little key lime that has been steadily growing. It has been 18 years and I can't tell you how happy I am to see that beautiful green fruit. So much has changed over this time, I am hardly the same person, it seems. Yet, through all of those changes, there has always been that key lime, slowly growing, getting stronger, and finally in full bloom and bearing fruit. I love it.