In Praise of Persimmons

persimmons, Fuyu persimmon
ripe Fuyu persimmons

Ah, persimmon season: my favorite time of year to be in Davis, California, and to live in my house.

Nine years ago, when we left San Francisco and bought this place, I disliked almost everything about it (especially that it was not in San Francisco), and really liked only one thing: the mature Fuyu persimmon tree in the northeast corner of our otherwise unremarkable backyard.

Over the years we’ve made a few changes to the house and property so that, if I don’t exactly love the place, I have at least developed some fondness for it. And the persimmon tree remains one of its abiding delights. Continue reading

On Mornings

tea tray
My daily tea

I am not a morning person. I often don’t sleep well or enough, and frequently wake up feeling exhausted, unwell, or in pain.

Yet I’ve settled into a daily a.m. routine that not only reconciles me to waking up but reminds me pointedly of my blessings before leaving me blissfully alone to work. One day I’ll look back on these mornings with fondness, which I guess makes this post an exercise in prospective nostalgia.

Waking begins, at least in these cooler months, by fumbling about for my Japanese hanten, a quilted, hip-length, kimono-style jacket. If I can just find it and put it on first thing, getting out of bed doesn’t seem so ghastly. I’ve owned a hanten since my early 20s. My current one was a 40th birthday present from my mother and would be one of the first things I grabbed if the house were falling down and my family was already safely outside. Continue reading