"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Fig, Glorious Fig!

If I'd been Eve in the Garden, and if the Serpent had taken me to the Tree of Knowledge, and if figs had been growing upon its branches, mankind would have been just as doomed as in the Biblical scenario.

Because I love figs. Always have, always will.

One of my grandfathers, an epic gardener of roses and vegetables, flowers and fruits, grew figs. Eating mass quantities of fresh-from-the-tree figs is was a favourite summer pastime during childhood.

That was a distant time, in a very different place. Unfortunately, the harsher New England climate isn't conducive to fig trees growing in the ground. Rumour has it that they can be over-wintered indoors.

Therefore, a couple of months ago, I made a huge investment in a fig tree already laden with 17 embryonic figs. Unsure what these untested Northern birds would do if they saw this unfamiliar new fruit growing on one of my decks, I took the precaution of placing the tree in the sunny screened porch. And waited for the magic to happen.

the cherished fig tree

The first fig to ripen suffered a terrible fate. It tumbled to the floor, unbeknownst to me, and rolled behind the tiny rocking chair(in which my mother rocked me during my infancy...) By the time I found it, the following day, it was dried out and inedible. My heart was broken.

Every day since then, I've watched the remaining 16 fruits, all staying resolutely green--till last week, when a couple of them swelled and began changing colour.

ripening fig

Curbing my impatience to eat a fresh-from-the-tree fig again, I waited as long as I could. But this morning, like Eve, I had to taste, the temptation was too great.

So I plucked.

the fig prior to consumption

And I ate.

And it was Good!

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