As I've mentioned before, we try hard to eat locally and seasonally; I feel like it's one of the more important and rewarding things I can do to connect me to the world and to preserve the world I love. Okay. And it's delicious. I love beets and potatoes, I love chili and scrambled eggs and homebrew. We stray, of course - peanut sauce and pizza are not uncommon in our kitchen (though there is local flour for the dough and local cheese). But as a rule we don't buy out-of-season produce - no Florida oranges, no California berries in our winter home. Besides, peaches this time of year could not possibly be delicious. Okay. There are bags of frozen local blueberries and raspberries next to the locally-made pie crusts. All is not lost.
And yet. On the phone my mother tells me she saw the first irises last week; they're taking the new dog to Garland to see the wildflowers today. Growing up in California's central coast, the idea of "local food" was almost laughable. We fed the nation; feeding ourselves was something like an afterthought. The farmer's market goes year-round in Monterey; eating seasonally means being snobbish about winter strawberries. In Arizona too we were not wanting for produce. The CSA moved heavily into turnips, no doubt, but still there were oranges, lemons, bright things, and tomatoes that came from a ways south but were Arizonan and organic and justifiable.
There are tomatoes from a hydroponic hothouse here, but they are not worth eating.
Is food all I talk about these days? What about the low-slanting sun and the sweet shadows across the stubbled fields? What about the heart that mutters happily to the sky? What about kittens nubbling their tiny faces into my shoulder, then exploding kittenshit onto my new scrubs? What about the thrill of competence slowly unfurling itself at work?
Still and yet, in my quiet moments these days, the mind and heart come quietly back to peaches. And tomatoes. Sigh.