Friday, January 15, 2010

Avocadoes in January

One may have gotten the impression that I have railed against the idea of counting one's blessings. No, I only think that reminding someone to do so is not a good idea.

I just finished eating an avocado with a spoon. It tasted decadent. An entire avocado, just for me, served with nothing but a bit of sea salt. It was perfectly ripe. It was perfect.

As I was scraping up the last of the smooth green creaminess, I thought "I am most fortunate to be eating a ripe avocado in Northern New England in the middle of winter." And so I am. 'Tis one of the miracles of this modern age that I can eat something completely foreign to where I live in the wrong season. The macrobiotic folks would say it isn't good for my health. Others might have a problem with it on political grounds. And some people might be wondering why I'm not crowing about some exotic chocolate concoction. Is was only an avocado.

I did write that it was perfect and it surely was.

The blessings that I count shower me in unexpected moments. That avocado reminded me that I have not lost my capacity for appreciation, and may, in fact, be experiencing an enhancement of it. Little things have meant so much recently. The fact that I have a choice between three kinds of crystallized ginger and can discern the difference. The feel of yarn between my fingers (oh, that again?) And, yes, I'm enjoying the balmy weather, which is surely a sign of global warming, though we've always had January thaws here in Maine (or rumors of them).

Am I reminding you to count your blessings by writing this? It's a fair question. This is the way I would remind someone, for it is a concept worth understanding. Not as a way to induce guilt, or to minimize hurt, but as a reminder of reality. In the midst of all suffering, there is something, even if it is small, that can be appreciated. I hear reports from Haiti such as this. The human spirit is an amazing thing. I like to remind myself of that from time to time.

Photo note: I wonder if I'd lose my appreciation for the avocado if they were abundant and I could just go out and pluck one off the vine. I am reminded of the blue jay, a most magnificent bird (though with an annoying array of vocalizations). Once, when birding with a group of people, a person from England, who had never seen this bird, was overcome by its beauty. I had forgotten just how beautiful the blue jay is. But since then (and this was a long time ago), I am sometimes able to re-see them with a new eye.

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