Seeing figs in their little paper crates at the grocery store makes me light and lusty again. I would have shrieked like a child at the sight had I not put on mascara and been masquerading as an adult already.
There are a few things (the moors in Scotland, real olive oil, Hemingway, black sand, painting wood, figs, strange liqueur, building a fire) that remind me of a time when I lived simpler (No no! of course not a time in this life...) They provoke in me a longing that comes from god help me to find out where. I look and as soon as the scent reaches me it is gone.
When I get home to eat the rich little delicacies, provoking devils, lovely mid-day adventures, I have no time, no patience, to peel the skins off with a paring knife. Instead, I slice them in half and run my fingers over their silky seedy flesh, warm with the walk home in the sun before scraping and sucking the insides from the out. Eating them is like a sigh of relief. They slide straight to the sad spot in my belly and make me easy for just a moment but like the scent of belonging, the effortlessness dodges away before I can call it my own.
Now the longing remains.
The next time I go to the grocery and see figs in their little paper crates I will be light and lusty again, I tell myself. There are fig seasons to come.
I stop myself short. I remind the light in my eyes to dim. Those of us who are familiar with life know that may not be true. Seasons to come are immeasurable, unknowable, and never guaranteed; easily jettisoned or recoursed or derailed; often late or early (timing is a mean old mistress) or not at all.
Though if fig season does come again, I hope I am not wearing mascara.
[On another note: To the Fig Tree on 9th and Christian by Ross Gay (here) is absolutely stunning and in perfect time for fig season and read it]