Just a little weird. But when it’s followed by watermelon for lunch, and watermelon for dinner, and the only reason I don’t eat watermelon for a bedtime snack is that I get up in the night often enough as it is – well, then it IS more than a little weird. It’s obsessive…or compulsive…or one of those words psychiatrists use on most all their patients.
So, what is it with all the watermelon? I haven’t always craved watermelon. In fact, many summers I have ignored the watermelons in the supermarket altogether. Too often I have brought one of those gargantuan gourds home, only to find that, inside, they were rotten or pithy or tasteless. So, in typical pessimist fashion, I would bypass the jolly green giants and head for the grapes and cherries instead.
An aside here: do you remember when the produce man would plunge a mysterious thingy into a prospective melon and pull out a sample for you to taste before you purchased a melon? Ah, those were the days!
Back to the subject: this summer, I haven’t passed a watermelon display once – and when Tom was doing the shopping, watermelon has been on the list. I have devoured the better part of at least five goliath-sized watermelons in the last four weeks. I just can’t seem to get enough of the pink-watery-sweet-juiciness. It’s like liquid cotton candy!
Like (yum!) cotton candy, each bite has little substance to chew on, just wild flavoressence that fills the senses with more than pinktaste. Both are the pink-pinnacle of the summer palate – I think that’s how the brain (maybe only my brain) files away the memory of watermelon and cotton candy. Under Pink. With cross files under picnics and fun and family. And Joy.
I know, fellow English guardians out there: Flavoressence and pinktaste are not words that can be found in the dictionary. Sorry Merriam-Webster, but you just didn’t do a good job on watermelon words. Perhaps you never had watermelon fever – that pink-watery-sweet-juicy raving fever (or should that be “craving fever”) that I seem to be experiencing.
Ok…. I imagine, dear readers, that you are now wondering what is wrong with Elizabeth? She’s too old to be pregnant, so what’s with the watermelon craving-craziness? I’ve wondered, too.
My first guess was typical of my melancholic mindset. I am hungering for watermelon this summer because this will be my last summer. When the watermelon season is over, I will never taste watermelon again. The melancholy-me wept over this thought for about a minute.
Then the getting-to-be-wiser-me stopped, dried my tears, and asked the One who made watermelons, “What is going on here, Lord?”
This question quietly “popped” into my mind: Haven’t you been saying a lot lately about your new appreciation for LIFE ? Hmm…. That’s why watermelon tastes so delicious? I get it! It’s the same reason why the light filtering through the tree-tops dazzles my beauty-hungry eyes. I sit under trees these days just to watch the verdant dance of light!
Oh! And that stand-by music I listened to yesterday while waiting on the phone for 10+ minutes – it brought tears to my eyes. Not for the wait, but because it was Paganini! Ok. Now I understand this odd behavior: I AM IN LOVE WITH LIFE.
Another thought interrupted my reverie. That’s not it. Well, not totally. O…K…. That “still small voice” brought my meandering meditation on melons to a halt! “Then what IS it? Why the craving for watermelons and light-kissed foliage and Paganini?!”
Then I knew. I felt it bubbling up within me…. Thankfulness. I am, for the first time in my life, THANKFUL, for things as simple as the taste of watermelon. The sight of kalaidascoping leaves in the sunlight. The sound of classical music.
I am THANKFUL. Thankful to God for making watermelon – and for giving me the taste buds to taste it! And the sense of smell to experience the watermelon aroma! (And don’t try to fool me. The artificial stuff in “watermelon” candy smells worse than it tastes!)
Maybe it’s the getting older that does it. We get so busy living (as in rushing to tackle the urgent) that we miss LIFE that’s all around us. Our five senses go into overload, and stop feeling amazement at amazing things. And when that happens, we stop saying Thank You.
Hmm. Another thought comes into my mind. I remember… a little girl at a picnic, off to herself, biting into a HUGE half-circle of watermelon, oblivious to the messy pink juiciness running down her cheeks and on to her white pinafore. It was the 24th of July. Statehood Day — a bigger holiday for those of us that lived in Utah than the 4th of July. The little girl was about five and this was, maybe, her first taste of watermelon – at least the first she would remember for 68 years.
She was a good Catholic little girl and, after the first bite, she prayed, “Thank you God for watermelon. It’s so pink – and I LOVE pink! And it is so sweet, like candy, and so jmmhmm…” A bite of pink-watery-sweet-juiciness filled her mouth and temporarily stopped the flow of words. With a “Yum” and a swallow, the little girl continued her prayer. “I wish You had left out ugly black seeds, God. Mommy says if I swallow one, a whole watermelon vine with hundreds of watermelons will grow in my stomach. I don’t think that’s true, but I am being real careful. It IS a bother. Watermelons would be SO much nicer if You had just left the seeds out. I wonder why You didn’t think of that?”
That little girl grew up, and eventually she forgot about saying thanks for the simple things in life – but she never stopped telling God how He should do things….
This treatise on watermelons is getting way too personal. I am going shopping. For a pineapple.