Peach


peach pit

"The best way to know God is to love many things." Van Gogh

Cut it into halves along this seam, he tells me, insisting the freestone peach into my hand, and the flesh will break clean from the pit.

I did.

It does.

I brushed the skin with my thumb and it was soft the way leaves are soft when they begin to yellow.

I was alone, so I brushed the skin with my cheek and smiled that it felt rougher there, like a worked palm.

I bit into the first quarter and in my mouth the skin had a new feel, like a delicate piece of canvas meant to be worn close to the body.

Each bite was soft, perfect, unusual. Sugared gold, honey yellow, autumn red near the core. Sweet with no addition, no rot, no wood clinging from the pit. Part of the pleasure was the novelty of eating a thing that had a texture on the outside like it shouldn’t be eaten, so I didn’t remove the skin.

The final three quarters are wrapped in the kitchen so I may live the moment again tomorrow at breakfast, but I know I won’t. I can’t. The sky then won’t be dark and clear outside my window, the air won’t be cool and filled with the sound of crickets, and the peace that comes from being only a few hours removed from the end of the work week will have passed.

But I enjoyed that standalone quarter tonight more than almost any other part of my week, of my month, and so I’m glad for it. And smiling.

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16 comments

  1. Absolutely lovely. Thank you for sharing. My only problem is finding a peach that tastes peach-like. They are trucked in, still green, too hard and no matter how long I coax them on my ledge, promising them patience if they’ll simply turn sweet and juicy… well, I need to live in Georgia.

  2. this reminded me of “the love song of j. alfred prufrock” by t.s. eliot except i liked it much better…..it’s like an essay poem–by far my favorite genre. nicely done.

  3. I love peaches, but I haven’t had a REALLY good one since I was a kid in Idaho. Fuzzy skins, and so juicy it ran down your chin. mmmmmmmmmmmmm

  4. Ruth – well written. I read this and realized it is a great metaphor for life. We so often want to savor and keep the good things in life for later, all the while knowing that if we don’t live our life out as things come, we may miss the best part of the peach… nothing lasts forever, and things change. Also, you have to take all of it to fully experience it. Skin and all! Even the pit plays a roll. Without it, the peach would be nothing but a pile of mush.

  5. Love Peach. May I read it to my classes? Beautiful, I read it over and over. To think that a simple comment of a good way to cut a peach would end up such a beautiful, emotional experience. I love your writing style. You have a wonderful way of expressing life.

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