When I was a kid, we didn’t have much fresh produce. We lived in far enough into Canada that it didn’t grow locally and it was expensive. Potatoes and carrots, yes. Tomatoes if you picked them green and layered them under newspaper to ripen. Peaches and pears, not so much.
I remember being riveted by the story, “James and the Giant Peach.” I figured I’d be willing to trade families with James, nasty aunts and all, if it meant I got just one chance to crawl through a giant peach, taking bites as I went, from the walls. Who needs heaven?
Today, I stood in my garden, holding a giant peach in my hand.
Off my very own tree. The past 4 or 5 years: nothing; this year: giant peaches.
It was the strangest moment. Because I haven’t thought about James for decades maybe, and then there I was, and it was his peach, right there in my hand. I even dusted off an old copy of the book and checked to be sure, and lo and behold: “The skin was very beautiful–a rich buttery yellow with patches of brilliant pink and red.”
Aunt Sponge wasn’t there to touch it reverently with the tip of her finger, but I did the honors myself, and reached the same conclusion: it was perfectly ripe.
In my garden.