The Dignity of pears

The Slim Fir Seeds

The nimble ovenbird, the dignity of pears,

The simplicity of oars, the imperishable

Engines inside slim fir seeds, all of these

Make clear how much we want the impermanent

To be permanent. We want the hermit wren

To keep her eggs even during the storm;

But that’s impossible. We are perishable;

Friends, we are salty, impermanent kingdoms.

-Robert Bly

Pears have always been my favorite fall fruit, the best coming from a box directly from someone’s orchard. This year my pears came from Smallwood Farms in Okanogan, Washington. Pears directly from the farmer are real pears, with diversity in size and ripening times. Grocery store pears have to meet certain standards, standards of sameness. That’s not real.

I’ll be eating these pears fresh, relishing the fleeting moment of each fruit’s perfection. I’ll also pack them into cardamom scones, fill tender hand pies, blend into smoothies, and use as a topping for waffles.

Farming is hard work. Tough, physical labor tied, enduringly, to the whims and changes of nature. Supporting those who bring beautiful food to my kitchen bestows a richness, a dignity to that food which a grocery store could never provide. As for pears, I love what Robert Bly saw in this fruit. Only a poet would see the dignity of a pear, opening the rest of our eyes to the same.

One Comment on “The Dignity of pears

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