My first spring in London, after the grey had cleared and we had a series of sunny days, everything seemed to burst into flower at once. Trees with large conical clusters of flowers, in particular, caught my eye, and I went over to investigate further. When I got closer, I realized that they were Chestnut trees. “I wonder what they smell like?” I asked myself. The answer: chestnuts. It’s a deeply sweet scent, which somehow hints at the rich flavor of the nuts they produce.
On reflection, I realized that this often seems to be the way with trees. A flower’s scent hints at the flavor of what’s to come. Apple blossoms smell like apples. Cherry blossoms smell like cherries. Chestnut blossoms smell like chestnuts. It’s one of those things that I think I realized subconsciously, but it hadn’t really come into my conscious awareness until that moment. It made me happy.
As I walked past flowering hedges and trees this evening, another thought struck me: aren’t humans kind of like that? So much of what we are is visible in our childhood temperaments. Interests that we have as children might fade, but many do not, even if they’re pushed to the side in order to be “responsible”. We might be eaten by worms, grow into funny shapes around wounds, or fall off the branch before we have the time to fully develop into ourselves. But the essential nature is there, shining through in those first months and years.
Maybe I’m biased though. I’ve felt like, in the space created by The Great Pause, I’m returning to my essential nature. Tempered by age, thank goodness. But more honest, and raw than I have been in a long time.
It feels incredibly vulnerable.
It also feels incredibly good.
I don’t know what this KatFruit will turn out to be like. But I’m hoping that it will be palatable, nutritious, and, while obviously not unblemished, at least well-formed around its wounds. Hopefully, time will bring some answers.