Only a Peach

August 17th, 2015

peach web

Last night when I went to bed, I was swamped by a sadness that seemed to rise up out of nowhere. Sadness about change and loss,  sadness about everything I’ve done wrong in my life, everyone I’ve let down, every time I’ve made a bad choice. The list grew and swelled with reproach every time I closed my eyes. And through it all, I felt a deep embarrassment at being so frayed around the edges, at not being able to pull myself out The Bog of What Might Have Been. I can’t say much of anything changed overnight. In the morning, I drank a latte. I read an article about pilgrimages on the Camino de Santiago.  I took a walk around my neighborhood. I ate a perfect peach. It was the last one from a bag a friend brought me from upstate South Carolina. One more day and it would have gone from ripe to rotten.  The contrast of its chorus-girl curves with the wabisabi-ness of the beat-up wood table on my porch and the pristine plate mediating between the two nudged me to try and paint it, to record that it was here and so was I. Nothing happened to make my sadness completely disappear, but the day went on and I made my own pilgrimage from a soul-wrestling night to an afternoon of peaches and paint tubes. I put one foot in front of the other with no guarantee of enlightenment, no spiritual guide, no destination in mind. I just shouldered my grief and took it for a walk through an ordinary day, an unremarkable day, a good day.

One Response to “Only a Peach”

  1. Diane says:

    This is tender and powerful at the same time. It registered in my heart.
    ” . . . my own pilgrimage from a soul-wrestling night to an afternoon of peaches and paint tubes.” I’m thinking you covered more ground than you might have done walking 17 kilometers somewhere on the Camino! You remind me that getting from one day to the next can be a real achievement and I’m hearing strains of a song from my mom’s era: ‘What a difference a day makes, twenty-four little hours . . . ” (Now I probably won’t be able to get that tune out of my head for the rest of the day!)

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