Mrs Essie Honiball, and Averil

Whilst at the Hermanus Country Market I received an invitation to present raw foods at a forthcoming event being held up at our local nature reserve: the Mind Body Spirit Expo.

Armed with the Vygie Street, I wanted to add more ammo to our arsenal and after years of waiting in the shadows, I now had the opportunity to introduce myself and the work to international icon, national treasure and local legend, Mrs Essie Honiball.

In 2004, on my repatriation from London where I had had a very high raw food community around me, I found myself isolated in a world of meat and more meat. I prayed for help, guidance, company, and that day in a farm stall up the road I was astonished to see a thin green book amongst the pottery on the table there:

A Fruit Eater Is Born
by Essie Honiball

This little book has been my friend for a long, long time, and I know almost every word of it. I had never wanted to disturb Essie, thinking that for much of her life she must have been subject to streams of strangers, come to prod and stare.

I wrote to her now, asking if it would please her if I sold some of her books at our table in the upcoming event, the Mind Body Spirit Expo in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. I hand delivered the letter to Huis Lettie Theron in the afternoon. 

The next day I received a telephone call from someone who had visited Essie that day, Glorious Averil. Essie is 89, she had stepped away from fruit decades previously because she ran out of spiritual energy to continue being outside of society. But she has Averil, who found her only two weeks previously. And now she has me.

Averil and I met the next morning in the very Country Market where I had been piloting the Salad Bar. 

I had misplaced my phone and had no means of meeting or identifying her. I closed my eyes and prayed for help, to find this stranger in amongst hundreds and hundreds of people. When I opened my eyes I saw a lady standing a distance away, holding a pomegranate. I stood, walked directly over and asked, "excuse me, are you Averil?"

That is how we met.

Since then Averil has taken me to meet Essie. Old and frail, and yet her organs are clearly in good nick. Mrs Honiball has neither the energy to pursue Fruitarianism as a lifestyle nor to be personally involved in the movement, and yet her presence is a deep deep lake of pure inspiration. It is a profound honour to have met and to sit in the company of someone so close to Heaven.

Essie clearly enunciates the difference between Fruitarianism and "the raw people". A Fruitarian only eats fruit, seeds leaves and nuts, a piece at a time and without mixing them into a salad, and always and only each in its season so that it takes a whole year to make one "recipe", one's body being the salad bowl.   

The Tree of Life, with Essie in Front