Food for our Minds and Spirits: Persimmons

The persimmon tree in our permaculture garden is currently absolutely full of fruit. If you are walking in, it’s just to the left of the walkway on your way into the building. It’s beautiful, and to me it really looks like the end of Summer that a tree is experiencing. And native persimmons are tricky because they are very bitter when they aren’t ripe. So you have to pick them before they have fallen to the ground but after they have started to yellow and ripen. (This is what Debbie Wright explained to me today. I got a real lessons in persimmons today.)

It got me thinking about a song that is very dear to me. Part of lyrics say:

“Pick a fruit from a tree, bite the skin with your teeth. Is it bitter or sweet? All depends on your timing.”

Those words have stuck with me since they appeared in a song by the band Bright Eyes that was a big comfort at a rough time in my life. The song is pretty good and worth a listen, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Since we are in a season where there is lots of fruit in trees, the question of timing is all around us as a season of rest and unplugging leads to a season of things plugging in and amping up. Some of these changes can be overwhelming. Maybe you were on vacation just a few weeks ago inhabiting what felt like a different version of yourself. And now, you have to put on a range of weights and obligations. Is it bitter or sweet? All depends on your timing.

We’ve been spending this Summer considering what religious naturalism can offer us as we form and forge our own spiritual lives. Looking at our persimmon tree makes me realize that this time when it is fruiting and full of life is not the only time this tree is doing its tree-ness. It is a tree in the Fall when it’s leaves turn and drop. It is a tree in the winter when it is all sticks and twigs. It is a tree in the Spring when the eventual fruit of next year comes in flowers. So, for us, we are all of these selves that we experience, and the persons we’ve been and the ones we’ll become.

Sometimes it is hard to tap into our spiritual selves or find time to nurture our creativity and intellectual curiosity. Here is a section that reflects on some nourishing materials from around the web and related media channels in order to get us thinking, get us feeling, and get us reflecting on the lives we are living in this big world. **Some Adult/Mature Themes May Appear in Links and Other Attached Material**


Allan T. Georgia, MDiv, MTS, PhD