In Chinese tradition, the peach is said to be the ambrosia which keeps the gods immortal. The heavenly peach trees take six thousand years to ripen. But once they’re ripe, they’re tasty enough to keep the assembled spirits and powers happy and alive for a couple millennia more. When the peaches are ripe, all of heaven gathers for a huge peach feast. Which seems amazing. If you asked me: Brendan, of all the parties in the world’s mythological tradition (I nod) which one would you most like to attend? It would be no contest. Fuck Valhalla. I wouldn’t take a second look at the Great Hunting Grounds. Give me that Heavenly Peach Feast, anytime.
So, having devoured my first batch of peaches, I picked up a bag of white and yellow peaches from the local organic food market (on sale! 1.99 a pound!) and set them up on the windowsill and decidedly did not follow the advice of ancient Chinese tradition. I was hungry. They were sitting right there. And so – I couldn’t wait, I couldn’t control myself, I ate… a premature peach.
Sure, it tasted like a peach. And I didn’t vomit. But the flesh was hard and almost crunchy, and it had about as much sweetness as a college student in finals week. It wasn’t even juicy. And – how’s this for a final humiliation – the peach-fuzz left a weird, dry sensation on the roof of my mouth that wouldn’t go away for hours. So here’s some advice to all your readers out in blog-land: WAIT for your peaches to ripen. I know they might look tasty, and compelling. But if you feel your peach, and it feels hard, DON’T BOTHER. It won’t magically taste good just for you. Patience, patience.
And yet every morning I leave my room, and I see that pile of peaches – and I see whether today will be the day. But not yet. I’ll probably eat the whole bunch in a day when they’re ready.