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JERSEY FIGS
October 10, 2007
 
I didn't sneak outside just now, not exactly -- I just didn't tell Q where I was going. This is the behavior of an addict, I know, as is the numerical rounding down I do when I tell him how many fresh figs I have had. Oh, I've already had a couple, I'll say airily, when he asks me if I'd like one. Which means four. Or it could mean five -- "a couple" just doesn't mean to us what it means to other people.

Like most addicts, I view my weakness as forced upon me. How can I not pluck and eat a fig -- or three -- right off our own fig tree, when I have to walk right by it on my way back with the garbage can? Is it not a miracle straight from God that Q has managed to grow a fig in New Jersey, for heaven's sake, and does it not say right in the Bible, right there in Isaiah 36:16, that everyone shall eat figs from his own fig tree? It does.

And are we not supposed to have between five and nine servings of fruits or vegetables a day? We are. And does this guideline not come from our own government? It does. So is it not my patriotic duty to eat figs from our tree? It most certainly is.

And does not Weight Watchers itself say that fresh fruit is a core food, which means you can eat as much of it as you want? Well, they say "as much as you need to be satisfied," but isn't that basically the same thing? No? Well, to us it is.

My old boss used to say that, if he were CEO of a company, his sales force would be composed exclusively of addicts. If he'd been a CEO instead of a priest, he'd have made billions, because he was right: we can argue anything.

My addiction will pass. The fig season is short -- just a few weeks in the early fall, and then they will be gone for another year. Soon it will be time to wrap up the trees for the winter -- yes, I did say "trees:" our Mama Fig has now had two babies, not counting the one that ran away from home with a passing bird and sprang up under a rosebush. What riches -- I can see why the Bible praises the fig tree, why its wonderful fruit symbolizes the good life in scripture. It is sweet, juicy, soft, round, pink inside. There is nothing about it that isn't gorgeous.

Praise be! For figs in the garden, for the birds who steal them and then poop somewhere else and then there is a new little tree! For the sun that ripens new ones every day, in the last days before the cold of winter! For Q, who dared to think that he could grow one! Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord!

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Many asked what music I was listening to the other day while writing the eMo -- it was Anonymous 4's cd "Miracles of Santiago," available at viva@vivabooks.com.
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