Until last week, we didn't even know that loquats existed, but one of our neighbors gave us some on Friday. They had a decadent, faintly tropical flavor. Sweet and juicy, they were more like an apricot than anything else, but also possessed undeniable notes of mangosteen, kumquat, and--with some imaginative insight--even apple. They were too good to squander on fresh eating alone, so we decided to preserve some of them as loquat jam.
This morning, I looked up loquats on Wikipedia. They originated in Southeastern China, home to a famous poet, Li Bai, who mentioned them frequently in his poems. There's something sublime about oriental art. Take this painting of loquats.
Or this beautiful haiku by the great Bashuo Matsuo himself:
An old silent pond...
A frog jumps into the pond
splash! Silence again.
What is the Good Life? It is living simply, joyfully, and without affectation, watching a frog jump into a pond, for instance, or making loquat jam.