Ripe

11041516_10206589301347797_6093626625082184377_nThe peach was perfect. Yielding without turning to mush. Generous, juicy, with just enough firmness to maintain its self-respect.

There were two remaining from last week’s rare trip to Whole Foods; a friend had sent us a $50 gift card, which Pearl and I went to spend mostly on organic produce (though even then, the ripe cherries were out of the question–$8 for a not-so-big bag of them).

We proudly kept the whole excursion within budget, coming in at $49.98 no kidding, with the help of a nice cashier who gave us several five-cent bag discounts even though we did not, in fact, remember to bring our own.

Pearl likes shopping with me. She asked, as we waited in the check-out line, “Next time you go here, can you invite me?” A novelty from our usual Stop & Shop outings. And oh, did I ever feel her. There is nothing quite like it, being surrounded by gorgeous, ripe, organic fruits and gorgeous, largely local vegetables, and so many other products lovely in their pricey packaging–you just want to fill your home and body and fridge and kids and life with that kind of elemental purity and goodness.

I cut the one peach up on an old plastic cutting board that may have even been in this kitchen when we moved in nearly a year ago, then used the dull edge of a butter knife to slide the diced pieces onto the oats and milk in my bowl before stirring in a spoonful of cinnamon honey, also a gift from a friend, come to think of it.

I glanced up at the fridge door and instead of lamenting that we cannot do our regular shopping at Whole Foods Whole Paycheck when I have no paycheck, hell even when I do have a paycheck, instead of rabbit-holing into scarcity or fear or envy or judgment of those who can, instead of these things, I looked at the fridge door and there was another gift! So many gifts! This one for $50 at the Amherst Farmers’ Market.

On Saturday, I will make a point of walking the two blocks to town–with bags this time–to peruse and purchase the ripest of the ripe, the greenest greens and juiciest berries, to stain my hands and feed my cells, those that are repairing my mistreated insides with each bite of this simple breakfast.

I write it down to remind myself, that the choice is always here to make: To wish for something other, to envy or compare. Or to savor each spoonful, to feed myself with what is ripe for the taking.

8 thoughts on “Ripe

  1. writer553 says:

    Now I want a peach. And strangely, I don’t even like peaches.
    Speaking of, Jena, “Dare I eat a peach?” Author?
    Every time I roll my trousers on a beach I think of this piece…
    Love and only love, Tricia.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Katrina Kenison says:

    This brought a couple of tears. I wish I could fill your whole house with whole foods! Love thinking of you savoring deliciousness, in all forms. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa Sorensen says:

    Such lovely writing, Jena. You weave the poignant and the profound, the painful and the beautiful, the simple and the exquisite, all into one small piece about life. Life for you specifically. Life, with its complexities, for us all. Thank you for your words and heart in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jackie Cangro says:

    Whole Foods is relatively new to my neighborhood. I went once and it was actually fun. So much to choose from! I was a bit overwhelmed by the options. There is even a rooftop cafe and bar. I’ll stick to the farmers market for the most part, but it’s a nice treat.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dhenryb says:

    this was a great write—you took me right along with you on your adventure with Pearl—and isn’t this wonderful: She asked, as we waited in the check-out line, “Next time you go here, can you invite me?”—you’ve got a gem there in Pearl and I know, as a retired family counselor and therapist—how much that is a developed mother/daughter relationship—such things need developing, growing, nourishing and ripening in just the right way (then it helps to have a wonderful child!)

    Liked by 1 person

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