I picked that bowl of peaches. In fact, those peaches are peaches from the tree in my backyard, the tree I planted there myself two years ago, the tree I brought in with my own hands and placed in the hole dug with my own shovel. In all, nine peaches* made it from blossom to harvest this year, and during the past week I’ve been tormented with when to pick them — too early and they might not ripen as well as otherwise; but too late and they could fall prey to other organisms.
As the spindly branches continued to bow, the fruit still seemed a bit firm, but I picked and sacrificed the first one, cutting it in half and taking a bite. I think I’ve never tasted a better, barely ripe, undersized fruit. As I handed Karyn the other half, she pretended to ignore that I was on the verge of welling up with tears, and just acknowledged that it was a good peach.
*There were actually ten on the tree that were picked. One, though, had a hole with a tunnel burrowed by an earwig, I think. I took a bite on the opposite side — sweet and juicy — and offered to my 13-year-old daughter that we play a game I just thought up called “earwig roulette” in which we each continue to take a bit until one of us loses by finding the earwig. She declined.