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Posts Tagged ‘ripening’

 

 

 

The broccoli was a disappointment this year—

planted from seed, it had finally begun to sport

small knobby green heads when the frost came.

And though the broccoli didn’t die, it stalled.

Perhaps I fear I am like this broccoli—destined

to grow but never to fruit. Perhaps this is why

I feel such urgency, this need to write faster,

heal quicker, mature sooner, love more. Because

what if the freeze comes? What if I die before

doing what I have come here to do?

 

There is a part of me who is patient. A part of me

who says, Sweet One, you could not possibly be

any more you than you are right now. She tells me,

You are exactly enough. And sometimes I believe her.

But sometimes I roll my eyes at her and tell myself,

Hurry up, hurry up. I know myself as barren stalk.

I try to will my own ripening. Not once has it worked,

not once, and still this strange drive:

go faster, do it better, do it now.

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500px-Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder-_The_Harvesters_-_Google_Art_Project

 

 

written after The Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1565

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.

–Ecclesiastes 3, 1-2

 

Bless those who attune to ripening,

those who hoist baskets, who wield

 

hoes, pitchforks. Bless those who

cut and stack and carry. Bless those

 

who pick and gather and sort. Meanwhile,

all around them, others play and lounge,

 

engage in callous sport. But bless those

who notice the work to be done

 

and do it. Bless those who feel

the sweet press of days and allow

 

the hours to avail them. Bless those

who sense the fullness of time,

 

who say yes to the moment

and rise to meet it.

 

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Wait until the necessary and everlasting overpowers you, until day and night avail themselves of your lips. 

—Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Essays and Lectures”

 

 

I believe in ripeness, the wisdom

of waiting. Here on my counter,

the melon sweetens and softens.

The peppers slowly turn from green

to red. The tomatoes become less

like stones and more like kisses.

Terrible to taste an early grape,

the way its sharp juice rucks

the soft lips. Terrible to eat

the berry before it’s earned

its blush. And still, the misery

of waiting—how eagerness

rises up in us, a surge of please,

a tide of want, a rush of now.

Yes, to the wait, the awful wait,

how this trial of patience

brings us closer to ourselves,

how it makes the future inevitable

ever that much sweeter.

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