I’m having the last batch of my Spring allergies, which means my sense of smell comes and goes. Wandering through the produce section of New Seasons last night, it came on again.
And I smelled peaches. Not the chemically, artificial smell, but the same smell that you get near peach trees in the late afternoon, when the sun’s warmed them to near blood temperature and biting into them is all things good in the world.
I rounded the corner of the aisle and there was a huge display of peaches, with an employee adding more. “Let me know if I’m in your way,” she said.
“No, you’re fine,” I replied, trying to do math in my head. Was it really that late in the year? Was it really the beginning of that short period of time when peaches were in season and at their best?
The way you can tell, of course, is if they smell good. A peach with no scent is dust and ashes in the mouth. But surely, I thought to myself, the year hasn’t gone by that fast.
It can’t be time.
It can’t be summer already.
I picked one up, and scrutinized it. It felt just ripe, the flesh just under the fuzzy skin giving gently. I lifted it to my nose and inhaled.
The employee pulled out a knife, grabbed a peach from the stand, and cut a slice. “Here, try it.”
I took a bite. And my senses told me that, no matter what my brain thought, it really is summertime.