If you want a lesson in fleeting pleasures and the art of mindfulness, look no further than a bowl of summer fruit. You might think fall, with its rich harvest, is the season of food, but I beg to differ. Fall is the season of turning food into meals, putting up preserves, seasoning and salting and cooking, sure. But as far as the pleasures of fresh food go, I put my money on the moment when you pop a sun-warmed cherry tomato off the vine and into your mouth, or slice into a crisp, cool cucumber delivered from the farm to the corner market that morning, or wash the two pounds of blackberries you harvested at the pick-your-own farm (and don't forget the half-pound or so you ate while picking).
Summer fruits and vegetables are the great, immediate, delicious -- and fleeting -- luxury of this season. It would be wonderful to bite into a fresh-off-the-tree juicy peach when February drags on. But seasonal food gives you a chance to savor the present moment, knowing full well it will end.