Apricots and DeathBeth Patterson, MA, Certified Palliative Care Chaplain Oct 17, 2023
Good deathing stories keep us going in the palliative care work---going deeper, ringing more true, honoring our pain, our patients’ pain, the world’s pain. And sometimes, that sorrow tastes like freshly canned apricots.Tom is a friend of mine from my Oregon days. He has a way of allowing the ‘messy interface of human experience and the natural world’ to show its beauty, grace and grit. He has been sharing over the past few years his mother’s decline and now her beautiful passing. We hope you enjoy his blog post called ‘Apricots’, cross-posted with enthusiastic permission by Tom.
"I’m canning apricots at my brother’s house. After 15 fruitless years, his tree sends down a cascade of orange orbs. We take buckets and boxes into the corner of the orchard where the tree droops with its burden and pick only the ripening fruit. Western Kingbirds and Bullock’s Orioles have already added the tree to their list of dining possibilities. They know a ripe apricot when they see one, and the sweetest fruits are incised with ragged papaya-colored canyons. Black-chinned Hummingbirds are more circumspect, sipping nectar through tiny holes they have punctured with the thin needle of their bill. After three boxes of apricots, the tree hardly notices that we’ve been there..." READ MORE.
Tom A. Titus is an author, biologist, runner, forager, father, grandfather, and free-range philosopher who writes at the messy interface of human experience and the natural world. His most recent book, Dancing with an Apocalypse, is an attentive response to the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021 inspired by neighborhood happy hours, visiting ravens, wind in old trees, and a decaying house in the Oregon Coast Range. Tom blogs when he feels like it at “Words on the Nature of Life."