The Fruit of Our Labor
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by Kelly Ann
I am in love … with the produce section of a new local supermarket. They have every type of fruit and vegetable imaginable. I have never seen so many types of apples and tomatoes in my life. They even carry rare items like tamarands and cactus leaves. And I just had to laugh when I saw multiple types of edible flowers.
I am eating a lot better as consequence, considering I do not have a green thumb and just killed my tomato plant. I walk over a couple times a week and pick up $1 bags of bargain produce. The bags contain ripe produce that is about to turn that has been culled from the bins through out the day. It is a great deal even needing to pick out a few bad grapes or cutting a bad spot off a potato. Occasionally, I am lucky enough to get multiple bags of vegetables to cook a cheap stew as I won’t otherwise splurge on more expensive vegetables like eggplant. The only catch being that I need to cook within a few days of purchase and need to be careful in experimenting (I learned lime does not make a good base).
As my mind starting racing (in an attempt to be creative in this post) with analogies that I could draw to life using produce (the types of fruit, the season of use, organic vs. not, the effects of cooking, the combination of flavors, expiration, etc.), I was reminded of a high school English class where the professor talked about how life was like a stew, with different people contributing different flavors. I resisted – I preferred the analogy of a salad. Yes, there were different flavors but they stood intact with their own identities. A tomato is still recognizably a tomato in a salad but not a stew. However, I came to realize that I would find the faults in any analogy to matter how simple or complex. In science, there is something called the Heisenberg uncertainity principle. Basically the further you get from defining a given point by defining the parameter, the further you get from it and vice versa. Although analogies can serve a point, I think a lot is lost in any comparison (like Elder Bednar’s pickling conference talk).
However, with my current love affair with produce, I have been thinking about “the fruit of my labor”. I obviously don’t grow my own vegetables. I just do the best with what is available. And if life is a stew or a salad, hopefully I am adding a flavor in whatever form it comes in my work, my hobbies, and my interactions with people. I am really trying not to worry about definitions. If I am active or not, if I am single or not, if I am x or not, I am still me whatever that is. And I am ok with that. I will just enjoy the fruit, the flavor (even an occasional bad lime), and try to share it with others.
In terms of discussion, I would like to know what analogies do you draw in your own lifes? How do you go about defining yourself to other people? And what “fruit of your labors” satisfy you the most?