Monday, November 10, 2008

Essay: Sweet Peach Mother

A peach is the closest thing to a breast in the fruit realm. It has the same inviting, soft roundness, with an aura of fuzz, making its skin more human. And inside is a sweet juiciness that drips like mother’s milk from the corner of our sated, innocent lips. The same trancelike state of contentment can result. If the apple was offered from the tree of knowledge, then surely the tree of life offers us peaches.

This helps explain my rivalry with my stepson for claims on the peach tree in our yard. He says that it’s his—because the peach tree planted when he was born was left at the house of his parent’s broken marriage and this one replaces it. I say it’s mine—because I have watered and tended it, watched it and talked with it. After all, we are both vying for the nurturance of those breasts that each of us still need more of.

If only peach trees, like breasts, produced more peaches the more one suckled from them. On the Front Range of Colorado, our trees bear fruit sporadically. Our changeable springs often warm enough to coax the branches into blossom, only to destroy the flowers with a late freeze.

Yet, I remember one year when the peach tree of my previous marriage was so full of peaches that we had to prop up the branches. And that was after doing some serious thinning earlier in the season.

Oh, what glorious juice those peaches yielded – so tree-ripened tasty. Such joy of plucking off the tree and immediately biting in, the fruit still teeming with life force. Sweet Peach Mother, I hope for a spring that pleases You and brings us enough peach nectar to satisfy us all.

--by Terra Rafael