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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pick Your Own

Summer fruit. It’s delish.

Maybe summer fruit is a reward for surviving the school year. Summer fruits smell better than winter fruits. Or maybe they have a stronger smell. The moment you step into the supermarket the scent of peaches grabs you with its irresistible perfume. Pyramids of apricots and mountains of grapes beckon at farmers' markets. Plants and trees respond to the warmer temperatures with the same enthusiasm people do, and they produce fruit in every shade of the rainbow.
Our apricot tree didn’t make as many apricots as last year but we had fun picking the ones that grew.
A neighbor brought homemade blackberry jam to us recently.

These gifts mean a lot because it takes time and effort to make them. The jam is a beautiful purply-black color and just the right combination of sweet and tart. It reminds me of childhood visits to the island where my grandma lived, where wild blackberries grew at the edge of the road. During visits to the island we drove on small roads, exploring. When my little sister and I spotted blackberries growing, we’d scream with glee from the backseat, “Pull over!” Leaping from the car, we ran to the wall of berries, in awe of this chance to pick fruit, like real farmers! We were two suburban kids, unaccustomed to seeing blackberries available anywhere except the supermarket. A chance to pick our own berries was like winning the lottery: rare, unexpected, amazing!
Our peach tree has had its best year since we moved in nearly ten years ago. The peaches are the size of tennis balls, the color of orangey-yellow sunsets. Although I had close to zero influence on the outcome, I’m proud of the tree! (I never water it—Hubby does sometimes—and I don’t fertilize it, talk to it, or pay it any attention. Really, I have no right to feel proud of it. It’s thriving not because of me, but in spite of me. Yet I am proud of it, and I am waiting with anticipation for the fruit to be ready.)

Summer fruits. They are one of many prizes in a season filled with good things. Go ahead. Take a bite!

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