Saturday, January 30, 2010
The fruits of our labor
When I was living in Granada, I experienced something I was not used to growing up in a high mountain desert area in Central Idaho; an abundance of fruit. Not just fruit in the super mercados or street markets, but also as part of the vegetation. Oranges were especially abundant.
One day as I was walking (as I often did) I went along the edge of the river that cut through town. I looked down into the not-so-clean waters and I saw an orange bobbing. And I don’t know why this struck me so, but all I could think was, “What a waste.” I was not in absence of food, but I wondered if someone who was in need of food would look at that bobbing orange and wish they could have it instead of the river.
I must have been in one of those moods that day, because this orange became quite a focus for me. This orange was not just an orange floating along; It was waste. It was rich and poor. It was starving children. It was, “God-giveth-and-God-taketh.” But of course, being the over-analyzing person I am, and being human, I had to make sense of this debacle in my mind. This is what I came up with to make myself feel better:
There is a lot of fruit in the world. Some fruit that people don’t even know about, in places people can’t get to. It is impossible for every piece of fruit to be used and taken advantage of. Some fruit gets picked at the right time; some falls to the ground and rots. Some are taken before they have come to fruition. Some are formed in seasons that make them unfit. Some fruit is bought and gobbled up, and other fruit is bought and still rots.
(And here’s where I get really sappy and Hallmark like) God, the Universe, Allah, Great Spirit, Atoms, Cellular Division, whatever, did not make us to perform the same task. Just like the orange, not all of us can prosper and come to full fruition.
Lately, I feel like rotting fruit on the counter. As if I were picked to fulfill many things in this life, but I am not doing everything I can to accomplish them. It is an empty feeling, one that makes me question everything about who I am and where I’m going. I don’t want to rot. I don’t want to fade away. Somehow I need to find my way back to the place where I wasn't just a rotting fruit, but someone who made things happen.