Thursday, November 4, 2010
Sunshine and puddles
When did it all start? This journey through sunshine and puddles. Navigating the days of our lives.
When did life become so complicated just when it is needed to be less so?
Promises made on mountain tops and dreams unfulfilled. Disappointments in abundance and wisdom no greater. Shallow people and lost opportunities. Fences constructed between people.
For some reason I am unable to get a vision out of my head this morning. I had stopped on a country road at an intersection of 'go and don't go.' On the corner was an old pick up truck. A stand of crates and lumber had been constructed to hold baskets and and more baskets of fresh homegrown produce. Cucumbers, ripe luscious end-of-the-season tomatoes, tiny new potatoes, yellow crookneck squash, zucchini, hand-picked Texas soft shell pecans, oranges and grapefruit, and yellow onions waiting to be grilled. To the side was a small flatbed trailer full of huge sweet potatoes. A couple was buying a basket full of the them in anticipation of a family Thanksgiving celebration.
The vendor was tan and weathered. Through a brilliant, almost elfish, smile you saw not only that he had no teeth, but that without a doubt he was happy and enjoying the day, the sunshine, the wind, and what he was doing. I was envious.
Out of nowhere as we were selecting our produce he said, "I am about to have lunch!" I asked him where he was going or if he had brought a sandwich. He pointed to the cab of his truck, a truck as weathered as he. "See those cans on the dash in the window? They are heating in the sun." With enormous pride he told me that this was soon to be his lunch.
Okay, so by now you know I am a tad over-sensitive, but oddly at that moment I felt a lump in my throat appear. It was not out of pity or sadness, but seemingly out of envy. I was on television for twenty years cooking, written fifty-one cookbooks, and have hundreds more in my library. Perhaps it was the simplicity of his lunch, the pride, and total lack of need for apology he felt in sharing his menu with me. Or perhaps it was that my life is so overly complicated and frantic that I miss the cans warming in my window.
Last night under my feather quilt I was lulled to sleep by the soft breathing of my little old dog Wally, on the pillow next to me. It was heaven. It was peace. It was a flight into another dimension not visited often enough.
Every step taken on this earth should be a prayer and each breath a gift. This morning how I long for my mountains. Wandering my days and nights, I long for them, their majesty and their simplicity and their strength. They would know how to handle this melancholy brought on by sunshine and puddles.