You have no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring You. Nothing
seemed right. What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or
water to the ocean. Everything I came up with was like taking spices to
the Orient. It's no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these. So I've brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and remember
me. ~ Rumi
The Traveling Onion
Naomi Shihab Nye, 1952 When I think how far the onion has traveled just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise all small forgotten miracles, crackly paper peeling on the drainboard, pearly layers in smooth agreement, the way the knife enters onion and onion falls apart on the chopping block, a history revealed. And I would never scold the onion for causing tears. It is right that tears fall for something small and forgotten. How at meal, we sit to eat, commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma but never on the translucence of onion, now limp, now divided, or its traditionally honorable career: For the sake of others, disappear.
Note included with the poem:
“It is believed that the onion originally came from India.
In Egypt it was an object of worship —
why I haven’t been able to find out.
From Egypt the onion entered Greece
and on to Italy, thence into all of Europe.”
— Better Living Cookbook
A couple of months ago, a friend asked me to her birthday celebration -- a bonfire on a remote beach on the new moon.
When the day came, I almost bailed. I was tired. Depressed. Bereft, really, if you want to know the truth. But, I had made a promise, and I am nothing if not loyal to commitments I make to others. So I dragged my ass out of my apartment and drove the 40 miles over hill and dale to the remote beach chasing the setting sun.
A funny thing happened on that twisty turny road... I had a little moment. As I was turning some corner, looking at the trees, watching the sun and wondering if I would make it there while there was still light, a thought popped in my head, "joy." I looked around me, at all the beauty, and I realized what I needed more of in my life was joy. Not just any joy, but pure joy. I knew it because just seeing that beauty, I experienced pure joy.
As I write this, a single tear runs down my cheek, but it is not burning this time because joy engenders tears as much as pain does.
So I have been seeking expressions of pure joy -- whether mine or others. Here's one.
This is Dexter. I met him briefly on another drive to a remote beach. When he saw new people, his first response was to pick up this huge buoy as though it were a ball and suggest we play with him. Look at this marvelous ball I have found he seemed to be saying.
Here are some other pictures of sights I found to be full of joy or that produced feelings of joy.
The tiniest sand dollar I have ever found.
The happy cows on the road to Point Reyes Light House. It was really the tiny baby cows (yes I know there is a name for them), but I didn't snap a picture of them.
This tiny dog having a great time on a walk... and the one that I didn't snap a picture of ... his owner told me he waits patiently for the walk to the post office because at the end of waiting there is a treat.