Regardless of the nitty gritty details of the timing of which Depot night what happened, one of those nights back then I experienced my first paw paw ever. And it came from the trees of a very nice gentleman from the Depot, who has sinced moved from those trees, but the trees remain. And year after sweet year, I drive over to those trees in mid to late September and let the warmth of the angled autumnal sun remind me of all that is simple and precious about communing with a place in real time. A year passes. Time for another visit. The yard with the paw paw trees lies in front of an old farm house. No human inhabits this place anymore, and the weeds are taller than me in places. There is an old rose surviving next to the house, its aroma sweet and sad and emitting memories that I have no place in, but long for nonetheless.
I have not read Michael Pollan's book, The Botany of Desire, but I read the introduction. This year when I was reaping the harvest of the almost forgotten aforementioned paw paw trees, I couldn't help but think these trees really are having their way with me. I collect their fruits without fail each fall, and then I distribute those fruits far and wide, aided by my petroleum fueled modes of transportation and my generous nature. I am a seed spreading machine for those two trees- making sure portions of the bounty end up in various counties all over these mountains. And each recipient of the harvest in turn consumes the sweet alluring flesh and then does exactly what the trees want it to do- deposits the seeds in new fresh soil, thus enhancing the gene pool of the range of whatever nighttime fly or beetle paw paw pollinator might inhabit this particular place. I think I am looting some mad paw paw booty for myself and my people, but what I am really doing is spreading the seed of this strain of Asimina tribola to places much farther than the tree possibly ever dreamed of. Badass, Michael Pollan. Badass.
|Old house with paw paw trees to the left|
Turns out, paw paws are quite nutritious. Apparently they are quite old too- the second link talks about 50 million year old paw paw fossils!