IF YOU’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE, you can see my site has a new look. That picture of those knock-out peaches—our peaches—that was in the header, is gone. Besides being otherworldly delicious, those peaches were the inspiration for this blog. But like with many things, it seemed time for a change.
It’s fundamentally true, but still hard for me to grasp, that everything does indeed shift, turnover, move forward. I think that’s the first thing we should all be taught in kindergarten, or at least first grade. But maybe it isn’t taught in kindergarten or first grade because it’s too hard. Of course, just going to kindergarten should have been lesson enough in change. I should have got a heads up there, that instead of watching Captain Kangaroo everyday and playing with my Barbie, I would pack a lunch and line up and be nice to my teacher, and things would just continue to morph from there.
Several years ago, when we moved from our perfectly wonderful house, that was steeped in our family history, away from a street full of neighbors and friends that I couldn’t replace in a lifetime full of Mayberry RFDs, it was change that was self inflicted. Change my husband and I thought we were ready for. When you decide what’s going to change it’s a whole different deal than when God and the universe decides. But really, isn’t the pinnacle of any spiritual life to pray “your will, not mine?” It seems though, that the way things are set-up is that we have some control over a few things and no control over many things, and that things, like I said before, change, whether it be at our hand or the hand of the Mighty.
But back to my story of moving to these two acres at the lake, though, at a time in our lives when most of our friends were downsizing. When Michael and I moved here we were thinking large, if we were thinking at all. And immediately we turned a hard-packed horses’ stall into a plot of raised beds for a vegetable garden. I, especially, was excited because I had wanted a vegetable garden for years. But of all the lovely attributes of our last home, sunshine for the garden was not one of them. The place was shrouded by towering, elderly, magnificent oaks. After installing the garden, and seeing that it was good, we planted fruit trees. We had the heady buzz of designer, like we held a Godly dominion. So, along with some pears and a plum tree we planted two robust peach trees. In only the second year the peach trees were in perfect unison with the sun and the rain and they fruited like it was the end of time.
It was about that time that I was overflowing with love for everything around me. I was already writing with a group of friends, so it was a natural flow to this blog, this place, where I could go on and on about the wonders of growing things and doing it well. Without my marketing hat on I named it Peaches and Prosciutto (bad for a Goggle search because no one can spell prosciutto, not even me). I did that because after years of cooking and recipes, beginning with Julia’s, those peaches had changed the way I put a meal together. I was now winging it, and I was inspired by what was growing in my yard. So, instead of the traditional melon and prosciutto, it was peaches, because peaches were what I had. The peaches were a metaphor for creativity, trying something new, busting out of a recipe, using what’s available.
Now, though, the peaches will always mean something else for me. Because after that first year we never had peaches like that again. The drought came, then the squirrels and those peaches became much more precious as a memory because I have come to understand what a gift they were. Along with everything else here, the successes and failures, the flourishes and the freezes, the bounty and the burning up of everything we’ve tried to grow, I’m reminded continually that things change and nobody asks if it’s okay with me, and I’m learning “the beauty of just letting go,” as the songwriter Patti Griffin says.
So now my blog has changed, and outside my peach trees are getting ready to bloom. It’s cold and grey in Austin, though, and it’s been raining for days and it seems it will never end. But I know with certainty it will. Gradually, I’m harvesting the food of the winter garden while planning the spring planting. Right now, if all goes well, the peach trees are poised to make fat, juicy fruit. But today I will simply appreciate the buds as they are forming and the lovely pink blooms if they make it, and will try hard not to want for anything more.