The orange tree knew something differed. It didn’t have eyes, but it sensed a greater space around it’s trunk. It didn’t hear, but it felt less disturbances in its branches. It couldn’t smell, but the taste of fresh water hadn’t graced its roots in months.
If you could see a cross-section of the tree from its highest leaf to its deepest root, you would see the telltale signs of death setting in. Working from the outside in, the tree began to wither. The outermost leaves dried and curled. The outermost roots shriveled and dried. Without the presence of fresh water in over a year the tree had sucked all of the water it could find out of the ground. If you had dug into the earth, it would be dry. Had it not been for the rocks it would break apart and be dug through easily.
It would take another year for the tree to truly die. As much water as it required, it had an insatiable desire to live and instinctually latched on to what was left in its most essential core. The water was cut off from the extremities. Only the thickest and sturdiest branches and roots would endure and be nourished from the trunk. But even these would die and it would be reduced to a mere trunk, a single branch, and a bare minimum of the largest sturdiest roots.
A year and half passed. It rained for 3 days. The majority of the dirt was washed away. The tree fell under its own weight and lack of root in the ground. It looked as good as dead to anyone that may have seen it. But there remained enough of a root left to begin absorbing water and passing it to the trunk. The water sufficed to spark life. A single branch budded on the side of the fallen trunk.
The rains returned and fed the tree. After three years, oranges sprouted from the now small, deformed tree. The roots had bent and pulled themselves back into the earth. The trunk continued sprout and it passed for a tree that had fallen but decided to hang on and grew another tree off of itself. Which was exactly what it was – a fallen, risen tree that bore the sweetest oranges.