I am allergic to peaches.
It’s peach season right now and Ontario peaches are everywhere.
Stacks of them make mountains in the fruit aisles in the grocery stores. Baskets of them are everywhere at farmer’s markets.
Huge, ripe, juicy and fuzzy, their heady scent fills the air and reminds us that it’s August now.
I haven’t always been allergic to peaches. It’s a fun new, and unfortunately serious, allergy that crept up on me over the past few years.
So when my kids get their hands on fresh peaches, I’m right there making them describe the experience.
“It’s yummy,” they simply say. Or “juicy.”
And I’m desperate to relive the experience of eating peaches so ripe that you have to eat them over the sink, so I start helping them describe the moment.
“Does the skin taste almost metallic? Sharp for that tiny second before your teeth sink into the fruit?”
“Yes,” they mumble, mouths full and drooling and slurping peach juice.
“Does the flavour explode through your mouth, so sweet that it makes you grateful for being alive? Can you taste the sunshine?”
“Sure,” they respond.
“Do they make your mouth dream of lazy summer days, sticky and hot? Days that last forever and blur into one long stretch of blue sky, bees buzzing, endless calls of children in the distance?”
“Can you hear the cicadas in every bite?”
My kids know me at this point and don’t bat an eye at all. Sticky hands reach for another peach, the sink glistens with juice, their chins and cheeks are shiny and dripping.
I am both envious and thoughtful. My desperate attempts to relive the experience, make me pause and think about how so much life can be lived in the simplest of moments. That we can stretch them out from “good, gimme more,” to whole summers lived within a single bite. Memories bursting onto our teeth.
That being allergic to the best of the fruits, has made me so aware of how I experience the moments in my life. Because our lives are a series of moments and you can choose to live a universe in each one, or sleep through them and lose them forever.
Bite by bite.
Are your peaches simply good? Or a taste explosion of hot childhood memories giving you that memory of endless bike riding, running through sprinklers and devouring a basket of the best peaches, loving them deeply, and thinking this could last forever and you wouldn’t mind that at all?
Tell me. I’m desperate.