On the other hand – apricots

No, technically it doesn’t make any sense, but I’m asking for a bit of literary license here to bend the rules of rhetoric in favor of the experiential world.

Yesterday was a bit of a downer with respect to my relationship with mechanical devices. Okay, all around. These things happen – you do your best, and move on. Everything made by human hands,  or nature for that matter, will eventually break. It’s all just a matter of time.

But at dusk, I went out to mull about the garden. Our tomatoes are coming in, thick and unruly. The unharvested artichokes we’d left to blossom were popping their brobdingnagian buds, and the blueberries were bent nearly to the ground, deep purple dusted with gray.

Then I looked up.

When I was a kid, apricots were almost a ritual. The color, the touch of the skin – everything about them was magical. I would always remember the first apricots of the season, and revel in them. Now, with all the inert gas refrigerated trucks and container ships trucking produce from Chile and who-knows-where, we’ve lost a bit more touch with the seasons. D and I try to respect the seasons as best we can, buying the bulk of our groceries at the local farmers market, where we’ve developed our own new rituals. Eggs from the Petaluma Egg Lady, who calls everyone sweetheart, milk and cheese from Rhonda, toting daughter Caitlin on one shoulder and round with #2 soon on the way. Flirting with “the asparagus girl”, and picking up a bag of leafy greens from the improbably pierced and tattooed twins at the north end of the second row.

At the farmers market, the apricots have been in for a couple of months already – mostly the funky varieties chased down to extend the season, but also Blenheims, the California mainstay. I guess it was Blenheims that I grew up with, back when we lived in Millbrae. They didn’t grow in Colorado, so I think it was when we moved there that they took on those magical properties.

I guess it was no surprise that, when we moved into this house four years ago, we planted an apricot tree in the place of honor in our yard. Behind the raised garden beds, on a small rise – we call it “the hill” -before the yard gives way to the untended back corner of our property that we wistfully call “the meadow” (don’t get grand ideas here – you could fill the entire “meadow” with a good sized family tent).

And at dusk, moping about my tribulations with the mechanical world, I looked up into the branches of our apricot tree, resplendent in the flat summer light of early evening, and saw life’s concise, unarguable rejoinder to my woes. (I’m bringing a basket of them in to work this morning).

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