There was one thing upon which I could always depend: the grace and beauty of spring. I watched, waited and set my psyche’s clock by Her rebirth. Every year, year after year… Her bright green buds and delicate white blossoms: two unfailing constants and the promise of fruit that they carried were with me, always. She fostered a lonely child with new life, hope and this promise: a kind of abundance perhaps most children do not know. She was an apricot and the sheer volume of her abundance fed the neighborhood. She was, literally, my hope and strength, the center of my universe. She was the proverbial Tree of Life; She fed me then and She feeds me now. She is more responsible than any other for the woman I am. She is the best in me. She lives in me forever and me in She.
Apricot Turtle Sauce (July 31st. 2004, Arboles, CO)
Growing up in southern California I had the difficult experience of being an orphan in my own home. At about the age of two I came to be the foster child of a majestic and wise old apricot tree. As I grew it was She who fed and nurtured me. When I was old enough to climb, She held me for hours in her arms. For twenty years She blessed me as her child and is greatly responsible for the woman I am today. We were joined early on by a turtle (desert tortoise) named Corky. Every spring Corky and I would watch the apricot blossoms come and go. And then at last the fruit would ripen and fall. This was our mutual feasting time. Forty years later I feel great peace and joy climbing up into the arms of another wise old Apricot. I harvest again Her bounty and remember how Corky, below, so close to Mother Earth chomped the fallen fruit, his face smeared with pulp and dripping with juice. It truly was heaven on Earth.
With great reverence and gratitude climb up into the loving arms of a wise old apricot and pick a large bag of ripe fruit. This first step is most important, as it will connect you to Mother Earth in a way that will allow you to feel your absolute dependence on Her for your sustenance. A humble prayer and a fist full of sacred corn meal will seal the deal. If you have trouble feeling the reality of this exchange pound your fist full of corn meal against your heart three times to activate your heart chakra. This offering is many things but with a closed heart it is but a dead ritual.
Now wash and pit about seven pounds of apricots. (Remember to plant a seed or two for the generations to come.) Chop about half of the apricots and simmer in a heavy bottomed pan with a cup of water to get things started. Cook them down until they begin to mush. Add ¼ C. lemon juice, 1 C. molasses, 3T. ancho chili powder and 3T. cinnamon. Continue simmering and melt in four 3 oz. wheels of Mexican Chocolate, or any other nice chocolate that suits your fancy. Stirring almost constantly, continue chopping and adding apricots as everything cooks together. When you have a full pot, cool a spoon full for tasting, adjusting everything by taste and smell. It should be sweet and sour, fruity with a nice chili kick and have the powerful aroma of chocolate permeating your home. You will know you have a fine Apricot Turtle Sauce if when you taste it you begin to weep. If our human mothers have forgotten much of what we need to know, Mother Earth has not!