It’s peach growing season here in North Georgia, although if you remember my video from last season, you know that the most important work happens in winter. Before anyone knows anything green is going to sprout. Life is like that…we have to work when everything looks flat and dead. If I put all my effort in at harvest time, I won’t actually have much to bring in.
But right now is when I have to complete a task I hate, mainly because I’m sentimental and have mush for a heart. I can’t bear this next part but I’ve learned by hard experience that it has to be done.
I have to choose, right now, which peaches get to stay on the tree. I have to choose which peaches get to reach maturity. When peaches grow too close together, it invites disease and pests. Peaches have to be thinned out so that the remaining ones get optimal light and air.
So I look at a cluster of tiny peaches like the ones in my photo and I choose one to pluck off and throw away.
If the peach has already been nibbled by a bird or insect, that makes my job so much easier. But often, the decision comes down to this: which peach will get the most light?
Light matters. Light brings growth and extra protection from pest and disease. Bad things happen where there’s no light.
So I make my decision, pluck a perfectly good peach and throw it away, and hope the remaining peach thrives in the sunlight. I walk slowly back toward the house, so comfortable and air-conditioned, and wonder how much light is getting into my life. I’ve sought to shelter my soul, but I wonder now if I’ve done myself, and others, a disservice at times.
It’s been a hard growing season in America, in so many ways, but summer is coming, and we could all do with a little more light.