The Elusive Peach Season
It is almost peach season. I am always searching for the perfect peach. The first bite through the fuzzy slightly bitter skin into its tender sweet flesh should be nectar sweet, and so juicy that its sweet liquid spills out of the sides of your mouth and onto your chin. It can’t be mushy, nor too hard .Some peaches fool you by looking beautiful, and instead of ripening on your counter, they simply go from hard to rotten.
Instead of a peach it was the painting of a peach orchard that was the obsession of a man at my office door. This man was looking for the painting I used to have hanging in the Cafe of a peach orchard. He and his wife had down sized their home and had taken some of their belongings to a wondrous resale store that supports Cancer patients called Legacies. Among those belongings was a painting of a peach orchard and I was the person who had bought it there. This gentleman wondered what I had done with it, as he had been accustomed to seeing it hanging in the Cafe where he would enjoy it while drinking his coffee and a breakfast pastry now and then. Sometimes he would come to the BonBonerie just so he could see his painting. It had hung in this living room for over thirty five years until the fateful day it was taken to Legacies.
He recalled for me while traveling in Colorado, that he had purchased this painting from the artist who had painted it. She told him how the peach trees in Colorado are only in bloom for two days. She came upon that very peach orchard and began to paint it furiously trying to capture its fleeting beauty before it was too late. He had been smitten with its beauty as well. With the utmost sincerity in his voice, he asked if it was possible for him to look at it again.
I told him that I would call him when I located it in storage which I did .I am waiting for him to return my call.
My final peach story has to do with taking a train ride with my husband and son from Chicago to California one summer. The train would occasionally stop at towns along the way, but for a very short time, sometimes only ten minutes. After leaving Colorado, somewhere in Nevada or Utah, our train stopped. On the platform sat a woman selling a small assortment of large peaches on a card table. I had some change in my pocket and decided to buy just three peaches, one for each of us. When the train whistle blew, I hurried back onto the train. After a moment, I took my first luscious bite of one of those peaches. It was a bite that met all my criteria for perfection in a peach. Sweet like no other fruit, juice running onto my chin from the sides of my mouth, the flesh giving but firm. I am certain there will never be another peach quite like it. My husband and son agreed as we stared out the window, regretting I had not bought them all.
I do understand why this man wants to gaze upon his perfect painting again. I will always remember that delicious peach hoping I will get the chance to eat another that is just as perfect.
It’s peach season. Be ready to be obsessed. It can happen with peaches.