Your cure for what ails us during these days of so much sickness and strife?
Nature’s exquisite work of art – a juice-dripping, sweet-yet-just-so-slightly-tart peach.
That’s what so many of you told me after I wrote about the one wondrous constant during this summer when so much in our lives has changed – from the average of more than 1,000 Americans per day who died from the coronavirus during much of last month to the scores of local kids for whom going back to school has meant staying home.
From Sparrowbush to Newburgh and across the great political divide, you sang the praises of that succulent soother of our souls and taste buds as a balm for everything from our divisive politics to weight loss. One of you even waxed so rhapsodic over the fruit with the “intoxicating” scent, you said it was proof of the existence of God.
Listen to a sampling of your raves:
“No politics, no cable news or Twitter tirades – just a juicy peach to savor,” wrote Sherry Mohan-Neves of Sparrowbush, who recalled “the utter joy of a perfectly ripe New Jersey Firestone peach in summertime” that as a kid she ate “joyfully sloppily” down to the sucking of the pit “to get every last bit of peach strings.”
“I cannot wait for my summer peaches…(Which are) even sweeter this year with all the hard times we have gone through,” said Kathy Orts of New Windsor, the juice fairly dripping from her email, which like many of your notes included a shout out to “not forget our summer tomatoes.”
Our peaches have been so welcome during this strange summer, they even helped Joel Feldstein of Newburgh do what so many of us struggled to do during these months when our gyms were closed, we stayed home and the only exercise many of us got was walking to and from the refrigerator.
Eating peaches and other fruit helped him lose weight.
Remarkably, Feldstein hadn’t eaten a peach in “many years until the pandemic arrived.” But when Planet Fitness closed and he needed to maintain his weight loss of some 40 pounds over the prior 18 months, he said goodbye to fatty foods and hello to fruits, especially the peach.
“I particularly like white peaches,” says Feldstein, mentioning the sweeter, mellower variety of my favorite fruit.
But you’d have to search far and wide to find anyone as peachy keen about that fruit with the “oh-so-intoxicating perfume” as the Town of Newburgh’s Mary Elin Korchinsky. In most years, she freezes some 60 pounds of them “for a far-more-eloquent-than-words Christmas morning reminder of our Lord’s infinite gifts.”
In fact, she writes, the very existence of one of nature’s most perfect creations is proof that, despite all of the darkness we’ve been facing, there is a higher power who bestows us with eternal gifts of light – and the juiciest of fruits.
“I am convinced that two things unarguably confirm the existence of God,” she writes. “A newborn baby’s hand and August peaches.”
Hey, I know there’s a lot to fret about these days – this presidential election and the pandemic provide enough worry for a lifetime. But when we stop and savor an eternal gift of nature like the peach, our worries vanish and we’re reminded of the pure wonder and beauty of creation.
As Kathy Orts says:
“Sometimes, it’s just the little things.”