|Elsa Beskow’s rendering of a Sun Egg
Last month I spent a week in Arizona, visiting my grandma with some of my lovely siblings. My grandparents moved south several years ago, and while I deeply miss their old lakeside home in Madison, the new roost does have something I like very much. A grapefruit tree. Fully laden. Just outside the window. Needless to say, one day we filled a bucket, and got to work.
Confession: I am grapefruit junkie. In high school, my book bag clinked and clanked with the sound of glass knocking against glass. I tell you, it wasn’t because I was a boozer stealing the dregs from dusty misfit bottles of my parents’ Ouzo, Sherry, or Frangelica. It was the tell-tale sound of my three-a-day habit. Yes, I juiced.
And if that was not enough, I liked to smell like the sour citrus fruit, too. Yes, on my teen rovings downtown on State Street, I’d often find myself drawn into The Soap Opera, a beloved old apothecary of fragrant hippie delights. I liked to hang out around the sample dram display, sniffing various essential oils. Possibly muttering to myself in a British accent.
Contrary to popular belief (ahem), I did NOT wear patchouli. Much. But I did have more than one little dram-bottle of Forest Pine essence to complement my stash of Grapefruit oil, which I went through quick enough.
My bedroom then was at the end of a long hallway on a less insulated addition to our original ranch house. For some reason when we ripped out the hideous and diseased shag carpet, I got to pick my own carpet color. Silvery white. I then proceeded to leave my windows cracked in winter, and hang strings of glass icicles from the panes. My furniture was old, dark, antique oak, my bedding light blue and white…my posters of snowshoe hares, arctic foxes, and wolf packs. (Okay, and ultimately a six-foot-banner of Daniel Day-Lewis, the crown of my Last of the Mohicans shrine.) It is entirely possible I set a low base-temperature in there just to help entice the cats and dogs to cuddle with me more.
My point is, Forest Pine is a pretty logical scent for a room that was meant to look like winter, and certainly felt like winter… so why the Grapefruit? Why the crisp, pucker-inducing scent of summery citrus, sun-bright and bee-kissed? Why here, in the white winter room?
I don’t actually have an answer to this, folks. Why does a teenager wear moccasins to school, get obsessed with Neil Young, guzzle Chocola, and dream of being an elf who rides wolves? (Or was that just me?) Because she likes to.
I really, really love grapefruits. I love watching my aunt peel them every year for the Christmas fruit salad. I love using that crazy jagged little spoon to root out their triangular segments. I love heating up the juice with hot water in the winter (really, try it), and mixing it with ice and Patron in the summer. And I really, really love drinking the fresh-squeezed juice.