I rummaged around in my small fridge last night, trying to find something to eat. Behind a tub of hummus and a loaf of GF bread, I find a lone orange, one of several given to me a few weeks ago by my neighbor Jessie. She traded some beets from our Community Garden for citrus from the trees of folks who live in nearby Isleton.
I pulled the orange out, and studied it. Three weeks? Would it still be good? I thought about the fruit trucked from Mexico to Missouri, which comprised the sole offerings in the store where I shopped for a couple of decades. Surely this orange started fresher than anything I bought in Kansas City, I told myself, and started to remove the peel.
A few minutes later, I realized that you have not eaten an orange until it’s one which came fresh from a tree not ten miles from your house. I don’t even like oranges — not really. I once flipped over on a bike for lack of understanding how to use hand brakes. The only thing I had consumed that day had been a glass of orange juice. The impact of my head on the road caused a concussion which started my stomach heaving. I haven’t liked oranges since then.
Grapefruit, now, that’s a different story. And tangerines; or tangelos; or those little Cuties which kids like. Regular oranges, not so much. Until now. Until I eased each juicy segment from the center fibers and bit down on them, letting the sweetness fill my mouth and run a little down my chin. Oh, what a boon you’ve given me, young Jessie! And how lovely this fine offering, how perfect, how refreshing, at the end of a dreary, weary day.
Now I have only store-bought fruit of which to partake this evening. Still, it’s California-grown, so one can only hope it might be somewhere near the divineness of last night’s treat. A woman can dream.
It’s the fifth day of the sixty-second month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.