The Mulberry Tree in Bloom

Posted on February 6, 2012



I have made some efforts in sprucing up the blog the last few weeks – I think it looks a lot better than before, but am open to suggestions.  As long as the suggestions are constructive and not limited to:

“Your blog is ugly, fix it.”

One of the cool features of this WordPress theme is that it allows me to use a rotation of pictures for the header at the very top.  So every time you visit, there will be a different picture up there.  I have tried to choose humorous pictures for the most part – one of me menacing my younger daughter, another one of me asleep on the couch, and one of my wife pretending to be a pirate.  I did this consciously because so much of the content that I write tends to be very sober and serious, I thought it might help to add a little levity to the blog.  But I also wanted to use realistic pictures because I find it strange when people create blogs to communicate honest thoughts and emotions, but post pictures that look like they were taken with Vaseline smeared all over the lens.  You mean to tell me that you go around the house looking like that all day?  Give me a break.

But one of my pictures is very different from the others – it is this one:

It was created by a tattoo artist in Baltimore, and hopefully will be inked on to my forearm sometime this year, if I can summon up both the courage and the money for it.  But let me tell you the story behind this picture, which I call “The Mulberry Tree in Bloom”.

In the spring of 2010, things were very hard in my house.  Carol had just started chemotherapy, and I had just started a brand new church – rather unsuccessfully, I might add.  We had been living in our new home for only a few months by that time, and I became aware of what kind of trees and plants we had around the house, or the lack thereof.  One of the trees in our backyard was a mulberry, a small tree that bears purple berries that are quite tasty.  But I knew that this mulberry tree would never bear fruit, because it was completely encircled and strangled by a wisteria vine, which, while being very pretty, is very invasive.  This tree was all but dead as a result.

But as the days got warmer, I noticed that the tree was growing leaves and then…greenish red berries, that eventually ripened into deep purple mulberries.  And not just a few of them, but tons, carpeting the ground beneath its branches, and inviting all kinds of birds to eat and rest…and then crap all over my car.

I sat in my living room, looking at the tree in wonderment, reflecting, when I realized that this was a perfect metaphor for my wife and her own struggle.  An invasive form of breast cancer had taken a hold of her, spreading its tendrils from her chest to her arm, threatening to spread and choke the life out of her.  But she resisted and refused, fighting its influence, and even bearing fruit – my son, Jonathan.  I saw my wife in that beautiful tree, and wept at the power of the image, and the strength of my wife.  And then I immediately took my axe and chopped that damn wisteria to bits.

I hadn’t intended this post to be devoted to my wife per se, but there is scarcely any other way I could end this entry.  My wife is a very simple and humble person, not at all interested in trying to look impressive in the eyes of others.  And because of this, I feel it is my duty to tell you that you will never find a stronger, more lovely, and faithful woman.  And I love her deeply.

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Posted in: Musings
10 Responses “The Mulberry Tree in Bloom” →
  1. Ohhhh, I love the image. And Carol : )


  2. sara choe

    February 6, 2012

    that’s a tat design? i thought that was some stained glass somewhere. very cool.

    that reminds me i’ve been meaning to get a tat for myself, along with a friend whose birthday is close to mine. mayhaps i’ll celebrate being debt-free with a tat.

    but i love the imagery. and way to show that wisteria who’s boss.

    carol is awesome. and one of the best decisions you made in your life.


    • peterwchin

      February 6, 2012

      cool! what design are you thinking of getting??


      • sara choe

        February 8, 2012

        not so much a graphic.
        — “be loved” was an idea, with “be” on top of “loved”, as a reminder that i should just let God love me, that he loves me first.
        — but also song of solomon 6:3a in hebrew’s also more appealing to me.
        — the word “gospel” in greek (this would be on one of my feet, in reference to the “armor of God” passage in ephesians.

        i dunno. i talk a big game but… this definitely needs to go on an area that would minimize discomfort…


      • peterwchin

        February 8, 2012

        gospel in greek is a beautiful word, “euangelion”. love that angel part in the middle. just make sure that it REALLY means something to you, because the moment you get it, you will be shocked at just how permanent it is!!!


  3. Cheryl Nilson

    February 6, 2012

    Birds feeding on mulberries–ugh; trying to eradicate wisteria–much worse (maybe I should try your idea of an axe), but this blogpost was lovely.


    • peterwchin

      February 6, 2012

      thanks cheryl. i’m sure there was never a person who chopped a wisteria with more passion and pathos than i did that day…maybe that’s the trick?


  4. Celeste

    April 15, 2012

    I stumbled on your blog by accident looking for a photo of a mulberry tree in bloom. Feel blessed that I found you and your wonderful metaphor as well as your evident deep love for your wife. Praying more blessings for you and your family.


    • peterwchin

      April 15, 2012

      thank you celeste – i’m glad you stumbled by too!

The Mulberry Tree in Bloom

Posted on February 6, 2012



I have made some efforts in sprucing up the blog the last few weeks – I think it looks a lot better than before, but am open to suggestions.  As long as the suggestions are constructive and not limited to:

“Your blog is ugly, fix it.”

One of the cool features of this WordPress theme is that it allows me to use a rotation of pictures for the header at the very top.  So every time you visit, there will be a different picture up there.  I have tried to choose humorous pictures for the most part – one of me menacing my younger daughter, another one of me asleep on the couch, and one of my wife pretending to be a pirate.  I did this consciously because so much of the content that I write tends to be very sober and serious, I thought it might help to add a little levity to the blog.  But I also wanted to use realistic pictures because I find it strange when people create blogs to communicate honest thoughts and emotions, but post pictures that look like they were taken with Vaseline smeared all over the lens.  You mean to tell me that you go around the house looking like that all day?  Give me a break.

But one of my pictures is very different from the others – it is this one:

It was created by a tattoo artist in Baltimore, and hopefully will be inked on to my forearm sometime this year, if I can summon up both the courage and the money for it.  But let me tell you the story behind this picture, which I call “The Mulberry Tree in Bloom”. Read On…

Posted in: Musings
10 Responses “The Mulberry Tree in Bloom” →
  1. Ohhhh, I love the image. And Carol : )


  2. sara choe

    February 6, 2012

    that’s a tat design? i thought that was some stained glass somewhere. very cool.

    that reminds me i’ve been meaning to get a tat for myself, along with a friend whose birthday is close to mine. mayhaps i’ll celebrate being debt-free with a tat.

    but i love the imagery. and way to show that wisteria who’s boss.

    carol is awesome. and one of the best decisions you made in your life.


    • peterwchin

      February 6, 2012

      cool! what design are you thinking of getting??


      • sara choe

        February 8, 2012

        not so much a graphic.
        — “be loved” was an idea, with “be” on top of “loved”, as a reminder that i should just let God love me, that he loves me first.
        — but also song of solomon 6:3a in hebrew’s also more appealing to me.
        — the word “gospel” in greek (this would be on one of my feet, in reference to the “armor of God” passage in ephesians.

        i dunno. i talk a big game but… this definitely needs to go on an area that would minimize discomfort…


      • peterwchin

        February 8, 2012

        gospel in greek is a beautiful word, “euangelion”. love that angel part in the middle. just make sure that it REALLY means something to you, because the moment you get it, you will be shocked at just how permanent it is!!!


  3. Cheryl Nilson

    February 6, 2012

    Birds feeding on mulberries–ugh; trying to eradicate wisteria–much worse (maybe I should try your idea of an axe), but this blogpost was lovely.


    • peterwchin

      February 6, 2012

      thanks cheryl. i’m sure there was never a person who chopped a wisteria with more passion and pathos than i did that day…maybe that’s the trick?


  4. Celeste

    April 15, 2012

    I stumbled on your blog by accident looking for a photo of a mulberry tree in bloom. Feel blessed that I found you and your wonderful metaphor as well as your evident deep love for your wife. Praying more blessings for you and your family.


    • peterwchin

      April 15, 2012

      thank you celeste – i’m glad you stumbled by too!

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