Northern California is often shrouded in coastal fog with a slight drizzle, or so I understand. Our annual camping trip is aligned with the days that are statistically the driest. The side benefit of this season is we are also here during the height of the summer harvest. Blackberries, apples, even a stray peach or two along with a myriad of fresh vegetables can be found in farmers markets and in quiet corners of small towns across Humbolt County.
There is something unique in experiencing nature’s taste during the perfect moment. Free of the boundaries set by pesticides, left to follow nature’s course, and cared by those with a passion for nature, vegetables and fruit smell, feel, and taste different! Even things on the edge, okra, beans, and squash of all kinds, take on a totally different meaning when experienced at the pinnacle of growth, maturity, and flavor. The opportunity to travel through sun baked hills softened by morning fog, overwhelmed by the smells of grasses, bay trees, fruit trees, and things that I cannot even begin describe. In the midst of the smells and sights, one finds the opportunity to experience nature at its peak.
There are two extremes in reacting this incredible opportunity. The first is the obsessive visitor, intent on getting from point A to point B. It seems that these types of individuals push through the Redwoods and farms with such intensity that there isn’t even a moment to spare for just experiencing. Those at the other end of the spectrum are looking for that perfect fruit. Color, texture, and perceived required attributes are all required before just experiencing.
Both views are ridiculous. If we don’t take time to experience the real things of life, why live? If we cannot open ourselves up to experiences we don’t already understand, why bother living?
Initially I worried. I am not young and starting out. Don’t worry, “with the Feast already half over, Jesus showed up in the Temple, teaching.” (John 7.14) No matter where we are (time, place, or experience) we can experience Divinity.
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