Saturday, September 30, 2006

peach

When I was a child living in this house I picked peaches out of my window from a small peach tree, pushed right up against the sunniest wall of the house, defying the coastal chill.

For reasons I assumed were aesthetic (but I was totally wrong; read the comment at the bottom of this post), my parents cut down the peach tree and planted a camelia beside the little stump. (For anyone who doesn't know me, I'm now raising my own children in the house I grew up in, and my parents have returned to build themselves a house on the hill behind the one we're renting from them.) The camelia is lovely when it blooms, but... I am waiting for the day they move it to their new house. Why?

Because, under the camelia, and a rhododendron, a grapevine, a porch and an arbutus tree, deep in the shade, one long branch of the peach tree has pushed out from the old roots and is reaching for the sun. And it blooms. And last year it set peaches that grew to nearly an inch long before shriveling up and vanishing. And this year...

This is what I found under that beautiful branch. Yes, it's pale yellow - peaches need sun for colour, and this persistent branch has none. But I ate it, and it was sweet and soft and sun-warmed, on one of the last dry days of the autumn.

All together there were 6 peaches that didn't succumb to the shade. I can only imagine what joys I will have next year. :--)

1 comment:

Nana and Opa said...

The peach tree was planted, tended and loved by us for years before it bore fruit outside your bedroom window. It was cut down because it split and broke almost in half. The year after it broke it again sprouted from the base and bore fruit. However, it has had a terrible problem with a variety of diseases and survives mostly out of tenatiousness. Camalias are beautiful, but little compares with a peach blossom. Good luck next year. Muma and Papa