I LOVE WATERMELON!
I’d rather have watermelon than ice cream. I prefer it to cupcakes. I’ll even choose watermelon over chocolate! (oooo -did I just SAY that?)
I’ll share almost anything (even ice cream, cupcakes and chocolate) - but it’s against my nature to share watermelon. (Even with the “Dragon Dog” who also loves watermelon - I know, she’s not your average canine.)
Most kids love July 4th for the fireworks. Believe me, fireworks are a BIG favorite with me too. (with a childhood nickname like “dynamite” you might expect that, huh?) But for me, Independence Day, a day we celebrate freedom, was a day I celebrated a different kind of freedom. There were picnics, with LOTS of watermelon and I was FREE to eat as much as I could get my hands on. So every July 4th, while the other kids were hogging the ice cream, cupcakes and chocolate, I got my hands on as much watermelon as I could and didn’t apologize to anyone for taking the last slice.
You see, I grew up with “watermelon deprivation.”
Okay, I made that up. It’s not a recognized form of torture or abuse.
But, my father didn’t like watermelon. Actually, he didn’t like any kind of melon. And my mother believed in serving what my father liked to eat. So we didn’t have watermelon very often.
You’d think, as a grownup, I’d buy watermelon year round. You’d think it would be a staple, that my shopping list would read “milk, bread, eggs, WATERMELON.” Right?
But the guy I married wasn’t a big fan of watermelon either. Not that he EVER suggested I shouldn’t buy it. It just seemed selfish to buy something he didn’t care that much about. (I didn’t even notice that I was making my MOTHER’S choices, not my own!)
Well this year, living alone for the first time in we won’t count how long, I realized that I still think of watermelon as a luxury, a treat reserved for holidays and family gatherings. Yesterday I did my grocery shopping for one and I bought a whole melon! It felt so decadent to buy a whole watermelon for just ME I almost put it back.
Tonight I had watermelon as an appetizer and watermelon for desert. And I didn’t mind that the “Dragon Dog” got a few bites.
If watermelon were currency, I’d be RICH! As of today, watermelon is no longer a “limited resource.”
It made me think, as I savored the last bite knowing there is still a full bowl of watermelon chunks in my refrigerator just waiting for me to get hungry again, about two things.
First, I thought about how easily we become conditioned to put our pleasures under the control of others. I’ve now spent more years as a self-governing adult than I spent as a dependent child. Yet, I’ve allowed the patterns of my childhood to dictate the pleasures I allow myself as an adult.
Second, I thought about how easy it is to share what we know is easily replenished. The “Dragon Dog” is lying at my feet right now, happily having participated in my after-dinner treat. We shared a ritual, she and I, that goes spirit deep - whether it’s called “breaking bread” or “sharing watermelon.” Sharing of what feeds us, at all levels, is the truest form of communion.
Which led me to imagine what shifts would take place if we always gave ourselves freedom to indulge in what we love - without looking to others or to rituals or to conventions for the permission to do so.
And what if we always shared - of our food, of our material wealth, of our ideas and of our spirit, from a place of endless replenishment?
Because we CAN make that shift.
What “watermelon” have you been depriving yourself of enjoying and sharing? Please comment and let me know.