Sunday, March 19, 2017

Peaches of Immortality

This peach, these peppers,
These grapes, these tomatoes
Will all soon become me.
Such a tasty fact.
I am That and That is Me.
Bless the gardens!
Bless the gardeners!

Bless the kitchens!
Bless the cooks!  
Bless the food!
-  Mike Garofalo, Pulling Onions

Peach trees and peaches have a special place in my heart.  I carefully tend the peach trees in our orchard, but a bountiful crop is often just a gift, grace, luck. 

"In China, the peach was said to be consumed by the immortals due to its mystic virtue of conferring longevity on all who ate them. The divinity Yu Huang, also called the Jade Emperor, and his mother called Xi Wangmu also known as Queen Mother of the West, ensured the gods' everlasting existence by feeding them the peaches of immortality. The immortals residing in the palace of Xi Wangmu were said to celebrate an extravagant banquet called the Pantao Hui or "The Feast of Peaches". The immortals waited six thousand years before gathering for this magnificent feast; the peach tree put forth leaves once every thousand years and it required another three thousand years for the fruit to ripen. Ivory statues depicting Xi Wangmu's attendants often held three peaches. The peach often plays an important part in Chinese tradition and is symbolic of long life. One example is in the peach-gathering story of Zhang Daoling, who many say is the true founder of Taoism. Elder Zhang Guo, one of the Chinese Eight Immortals, is often depicted carrying a Peach of Immortality." - Wikipedia

Peaches are native to China and introduced to Persia via the Silk Road before Christian times.

Xi Wang Mu, Queen Mother of the West, keeps the Immortals fed with the Sacred Peaches.  "No one knows Her beginning, no one knows Her end."

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Xi Wangmu, Braham, the Divine, the Supreme Universal Spirit, the Unmanifested and Manifested, the Absolute, the Everlasting, the Shining, Everything, Food for Life, God ...

Jen Miller sent me her summary of the benefits of eating peaches.

Karen also enjoys our crop of peaches in the summer months in Red Bluff.

Ah, Such a tasty peach!!  

To get peaches in the summer, you must plant bare root peach trees in the winter.  Karen and I have planted nearly 100 trees in our orchard in Red Bluff, California.  We will miss these trees when we move to Vancouver, Washington, in April of 2017.  Someone else will enjoy them for decades.

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