Curations: From Blossoms
Right about now - in the height of summer - fresh peaches are available at roadside stands all over the state.
In fact, here's a fun fact: South Carolina averages about three times the amount of peaches harvested than Georgia (the so-called "Peach State") in a typical season.
Another fun fact: the area around Johnston, SC (the self-proclaimed "Peach Capitol of the World") produces about 60% of South Carolina's peaches, which is more than all of Georgia.
But it doesn't matter who makes more or where they come from - biting into a ripe, succulent peach on a hot summer day is simply blissful. And the joy that we experience when we do is a joy that extends far beyond that moment.
In her 1986 poem, "From Blossoms," Li-Young Lee offers a reminder that such rich and enriching summer experiences can sustain us through moments and winters of despair. Or, as another writer and theologian, Parker Palmer, put it:
Days of that sort are not selfish indulgences. We need them to restore our souls so we can return to this world of hurt, heal our own wounds, and help others heal. Such days are reminders that eternity is right here right now, if we can see it, savor it, and live in its light...
"From Blossoms" by Li-Young Lee
From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.