Photo by Jackelin Slack on Unsplash
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China.
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you’ve always been her lover.
Leonard Cohen, “Suzanne”, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)
Sitting in the morning stillness, the fresh, tangy-sweet aroma of an orange being peeled suddenly filled my senses. My mouth watered and I immediately plunged into a whirlwind of thoughts …about oranges!
I thought of how I love fresh oranges but detest orange juice. I remembered how much I used to like eating an orange and a banana at the same time. First eating an orange segment, then following with a bite of banana — the best sour and sweet combination, ever! Oh, does anyone else remember orange/banana flavoured Jello?
My thoughts wandered to childhood Christmases, when I eagerly looked forward to our first box of mandarins of the season —Christmas Oranges, we called them. In those days, the small, round fruit came packed in a small wooden crate, each orange wrapped in green tissue paper. I remember how my siblings and I would marvel at how easy they were to peel and how sweet each little segment tasted. I remember the pure joy those oranges brought us!
Pictures of orange-flavoured candy and sweets danced in my head. Terry’s Chocolate Orange, the fruit made out of orange infused chocolate — which would break into segments just like the fruit. Orange jelly slices — artificially flavoured and covered in sparkly, white sugar, candy corn on Halloween, candied orange peel, and that [shudder] orange cream hiding in the box of assorted chocolates.
Aack!!! All that sugar!!
Somehow these memories led me to reminisce about my favourite muffin recipe — Oatmeal Orange muffins — made by soaking the oatmeal in orange juice, and adding in orange zest to enhance the flavour. I lost the recipe long ago and have never been able to find it — even my BFF, Google has failed to turn up the instructions!
Then I started thinking about the different kinds of oranges you can buy at the market. Navel oranges with their funny belly buttons; round Valencia oranges; the deep, red flesh of Blood oranges; Mandarins, of course, and the pretty Satsuma oranges. Sweet, juicy and oh, so fragrant!
My last thoughts — were centered around one of my most beautiful Mother’s Day gifts — a lovely, indoor orange tree. I can see it in my mind’s eye the tiny white blossoms nestled in the dark green leaves — a few baby oranges hanging from the branches. I loved to breathe in the delicate, orange perfume of the flowers. Alas, this thoughtful gift did not last long (not an unexpected event in my house — I LOVE plants, but I have the opposite of a green thumb!!)
All these memories rising up from the scent of a freshly peeled orange! I am grateful to live in a world where fresh fruit grows!
“Take the time to eat an orange in mindfulness. If you eat an orange in forgetfulness, caught in your anxiety and sorrow, the orange is not really there. But if you bring your mind and body together to produce true presence, you can see that the orange is a miracle. Peel the orange. Smell the fruit. See the orange blossoms in the orange, and the rain and the sun that have gone through the orange blossoms. The orange tree that has taken several months to bring this wonder to you. Put a section in your mouth, close your mouth mindfully, and with mindfulness feel the juice coming out of the orange. Taste the sweetness. Do you have the time to do so? If you think you don’t have time to eat an orange like this, what are you using that time for? Are you using your time to worry or using your time to live?”
~ from: The Moment is Perfect by Thich Nhat Hanh Read the entire article.