George Eliot refers here to the joy of childhood which we often don’t remember consciously, though it is woven into our nature in the same way that an apricot is imbued with the sunlight that ripened it.
A delicious, warming metaphor, particularly if you have a soft spot for apricots, and one which brought to mind a cherished line read in Warsaw, about the presence of long summer afternoons in the golden pulp of apricots, also quoted below.
‘… doubtless that joy is wrought up in our nature, as the sunlight of long-past mornings is wrought up in the soft mellowness of the apricot.’
‘On those luminous mornings Adela returned from the market, like Pomona emerging from the flames of day, spilling from her basket the colorful beauty of the sun–the shiny pink cherries full of juice under their transparent skins, the mysterious black morellos that smelled so much better than they tasted, apricots in whose golden pulp lay the core of long afternoons.’
Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985 (1859)), p. 266, and Bruno Schulz, The Street of Crocodiles.
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