The fig season has ended, at least down low in the area of the tree that we can reach. The tanagers and jays and robins and vireos and thrushes are still finding ripe figs up high, so the tree is still a huge bird feeder right outside my office window.
It makes me think of other fruit that we eat only in season. Cherries. Concord grapes. Scuppernongs. Memories of picking blackberries on vacant lots. The very shortness of time that they are available makes them sweeter and more special than the fruit that are always there, day in, day out. My generation never understood why an orange in a Christmas stocking was a gift indeed to earlier generations.
It also makes me think of cherry blossom time. In Washington DC, there are thousands of cherry trees around the Tidal Basin, a gift from Japan, I believe. They bloom all at once for just a few days, and then they are gone again. The evanescence is part of the thrill.
Some of J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories in the Silmarrilion address the yearnings that people have for eternal life. Some people achieve it in these stories, but not without immense loss. It is so hard to remember that the shortness of life is part of the gift.