At the seaside it’s always best to have fruit one can be sure of.
~from In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower by Marcel Proust
Fruits attached to a memory:
Summer is waning and my thoughts are turning to all of the things we didn’t do these past few weeks that were on my wish list. I am hanging on to this season with both hands, though it’s more butterfly than banister, and I need to relax my grip slightly. I know there’s still time for a few more ice cream cones and if the weather would warm a bit we could visit the lake at least one more time.
Today we are finally digging some holes to get a few of the plants who have patiently been waiting in their pots in the ground. We don’t see as much sun as I would like, so it’s tricky finding the best spot for some of these flowers. The hope is that that will continue to flourish and thrive, but some will surely die. Such is the way of the realistic gardener. Two of the flowers we brought home from an end-of-season sale are doing well in their pots, I can only imagine that they will spread out their roots once they are planted, but there’s no guarantee.
The berry bush that sprung up like magic in the backyard has continued to grow in the manner of Jack’s beanstalk. I stuck a few of the vines under a pipe to give them some stability, but they didn’t seem to mind at all. It’s crazy how wild it has become. I need to move it because the oil delivery person requires clear access to the pipes. I have a new spot all picked out, and I am optimistic that it will do well in the move. Maybe next year it will offer up more fruit and perhaps we’ll have enough for a pie. Or maybe it will just be enough for porridge in the mornings and I’m okay with that too. I don’t, and can’t, have high expectations. Anything is a gift.
Our tomato plants have offered up some. A few of the plants could only produce one tomato, so we feel lucky to eat it. Slowly savoring the taste letting the juice run down and laughing with the joy one can only feel on a warm summer afternoon.
I often roast the tomatoes and freeze them. Same is true of zucchinis and anything else I have in abundance. Last year friends gifted me apples from their tree and I have been taking them out occasionally to thaw them for applesauce or cake. On our walks with the dogs I recently noticed a tree abandoned on a hill, the red of the apples striking against the cornflower blue sky. I have plans to go up and grab a few. Maybe taking a bucket or just piling them all into the pouch of my t-shirt.
This time of year natural gifts abound. But the red leaves are starting to creep in, and of course the cooler temperatures are a harbinger of what’s to come. I found a Colette quote recently about autumn not a decline but rather a beginning. Perhaps anything can be a beginning if we let it. The day of the week, tomorrow, the next minute of our lives or the next second when you finish reading this sentence.
My memories of the fruits above stick with me as remembrances of summers past. The watermelon I tried to cut on my grandmother’s porch that left me with a scar reminder on my left hand. The cherry pie I craved when I was pregnant. The green apples that I eat every day. The pineapple we bought last year to make someone happy, who was quite a long way from home. The peach jam that was gifted to us that tasted like sunshine in a jar. The star part of the blueberries that I often press to my tongue in honor of Jen Lee’s poem. The grapefruit I once choked on before someone quickly came to my rescue. The lemons I bring to my nose when I need a bright rush of citrus. The wild black raspberries that weighted down our buckets as we moved from bush to bush, though often they went right into our mouths. And mangoes, always mangoes. Eating one makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
A, your word for next week is window.