Thursday, October 24, 2013

be here now

You bit into the perfect flesh of the peach. It was warm from the sun burning down on the roadside stand. Juice misted from the meat as you sank your teeth in. The aroma of peach - not peach scented or peach flavoured but raw ripe perfection - filled your nostrils. Licking the sweet sticky juice from your fingers you sighed 'there is nothing in the world as perfect as an in-season peach.'

But the season is fleeting. A few weeks at best and you make do with that poor substitute, canned peaches. If you are lucky they were canned at home - anyone's home. In a desperate pinch, you can make factory canned peaches work, though you'll probably choose instead to go without. 

How would you ever know, sitting outside that road stand and lamenting your lack of napkins or wet wipes, if that peach would be your last fresh one? Would knowing make you savour it with that much more attention, or would it add the hint of a bitter edge? 

How often in a life do you experience a last time and not know? That favourite chocolate bar from your youth. That summer trip as a family. That soft kiss on the cheek from your grandma. That perfect night in the arms of a lover free from pretense or concern. Would knowing ruin the moment? Would you work to make it memorable and in so doing ruin it? Would your concern about the coming emptiness take away the fullness of now? 

I suppose that's one point of the oft-repeated refrain to be present, to stay in the moment and experience the power of now. Then again, maybe knowing would also free you from being haunted by that everlasting question - was that it?

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