John Updike writes in his final book Endpoint:
we meet our heaven at the start and not
the end of life.
If Updike is remembered only for a single line, this should be the one.
Although Mr. Henry’s rejoinder may not achieve the eloquence of Updike’s iambic pentameter, here goes:
At breakfast you may eat the sweet
you left untouched the night before
and greet the day’s beginning with
the satisfaction knowing that
tomorrow you’ll have more.
The sweet in question this week is Mr. Henry’s favorite dessert from a platter of figs: prunes stewed in red wine with sugar and cinnamon. On yogurt it transports you to a heavenly realm.
The season is early for pit fruit – peaches, plums, nectarines. White peaches in the market aren’t bad but cannot approach the sublime aromas they exude in August.
Citrus in June has faded a bit from the high quality of springtime Indian River fruit, but pineapple remains a dependable choice. Its palate-cleansing acids encourage good digestion leaving the stomach full and the mouth clean.
Breakfast is the one moment of the day when something sweet is genuinely appropriate. Coffee’s bracing bitterness seeks balance in a delicate, sophisticated sweet. Instead of an icky, oily gut bomb like a doughnut or a Danish, reach for plum tart, apple pie, banana bread.
Even the morning mayhem brought to you by The New York Times cannot defeat the genuine thrill of such a breakfast. It’s a transcendent experience – life’s promise in each mouthful. Plus, you have the whole day ahead of you to walk off the calories.