Whenever we sound the depths of people, places, and things, we invariably find a significant story. This is true of peaches. Among summer’s fruits, peaches always evoke the “Ah!” response; their downy skins, their swaggering blush, their rousing aroma, and their candied taste engorge the senses and leave us yearning for more.

Such delectable fruit originated in Northwest China in the region between the Tarim Basin and the slopes of the Kunlun Shan Mountains and dates back to 2000 BCE. Emperors and dignitaries savored peaches during festive banquets.

It’s no wonder that a myth about celestial peaches evolved over the centuries. Its central figure is XiWangmu, the Queen Mother of the West, dispenser of prosperity, longevity, and eternal bliss. In her palace garden grew peach trees, their tangled branches spanning three thousand leagues across and reaching to the heavens, affording a ladder for the gods to move between heaven and earth. However, it took three thousand years for the fruit to ripen. A long wait, indeed, but the miraculous harvest prompted XiWangmu to host a banquet for her fellow Taoist gods. The peaches became immortal, ever plentiful to seekers.

The next time you bite into a luscious peach, remember you are in special company.