One of my favorite poets is Edna St. Vincent Millay. I think her Renascence is one of the most astounding and brilliant poems ever, her unnamed sonnet that starts off “I must not die of pity, I must live” is my all time favorite, in fact it’s my personal mission statement. I love her poetry and one of my favorite books is A Few Figs from Thistles. I was curled up on the couch reading it when I got to thinking about the fig tree I’ve been nurturing.
The new house is a fixer upper and boy was it a mess. The backyard was literally a jungle of dry weeds and brush along with piled up trash. A week into clearing it, we found a little fig tree nearly buried under the weeds. Fig trees are hardy little things and can withstand a lot. I grew up with them so I knew with a little care, we’d have a bounty of figs. We cleared the area around it, I took a spade and dug up around it and started watering. Shortly thereafter, lots of little green figs started sprouting all over. Happiness!
The past few days have been busy and I’ve not had time to stalk the fig tree. Yes I stalk it every day waiting for that first fig, ripe, juicy, like candy in my mouth. So far nothing but green and one bird eaten skin. Reading Millay’s First Fig made me wander over to the backyard, book in hand and wow, the whole tree was bursting with purple ripe figs! Not even stopping to put the book down, I started picking figs. I filled up my shirt that was now doubling as a basket and stuck the book in my pocket.
I Twittered excitedly that the first fresh figs were in and got Tweets back about recipes, all of which I am going to try along with my own but today, for breakfast I just want that first fresh fig. I sliced them in half and had them with my pan y cafe. They were cold from the fridge, bursting with sweetness and absolutely perfect poetry.