Today dawns the onion harvest, the pulling of white and red and yellow onion globes out of their earth-home. Their green stems drooped upon the ground earlier this week, fallen over from lack of rain or the sun’s silent command.
The onions arise covered with dirt as the puller seizes the drooped stems. They emerge marble-sized, or perhaps golf-ball sized, or with occasional tennis ball heft. They shine in their onion selves.
The harvester sprays them with cold hose water to loosen the dirt, then brings them inside in a colander to re-wash in the silver sink. They dry in the colander before transfer to the deck table for further drying. Finally the colander carries them downstairs to Christopher’s unused bedroom desk table where they await eating. Some are eaten now. Others languish until November or December or even January before mingling with carrots and celery and potatoes in stews and soups and daring sautes.
I philosophize in the garden patch, tugging at fallen onion-soldiers, pulling out bulbs.
Thinking about our human habit of judging and discerning. How often we judge and label and frown at others–so often pointing outward at the other–when, in truth, we judge harshly because we haven’t learned to embrace that same feeling or thought or opinion in ourselves.
Some believe we’re born into this multi-colored multi-choiced world to learn to love.
We either learn to love the world, and thereby learn to love ourselves. Or we learn to love ourselves, and this is reflected upon the world.
We puzzle about this divine command, trying to figure it out, and how we suffer! We suffer because we think that loving everything is condoning everything and for god’s sake we are not about to approve of rape, of cancer, of murder, of despair.
The more years that pass in this onion-pullers life, the more I realize that the softening of the heart toward almost everything is a good thing. To keep the heart soft, open, allowing.
As negativity arises, allowing the great shadow against the sun to exist. Allowing the rain to fall–or not to fall. Allowing the onions to turn into marbles–or tennis balls. Allowing the Universe to give us what it gives us.
When the sadness and darkness strike with snake venom or languishing despair, allowing it to exist. Turning the larger inner awareness toward that which hurts and softening. Seeing it in its fullness. Allowing it in its fullness.
This does not necessarily mean choosing it as an action. It does not necessarily mean approving. It means–allowing. Allowing with a soft heart.
It means seeing that, behind so many incomprehensible thoughts and feelings and actions, a desire for love exists. The world–and me–and perhaps you–does not always know how to express that love, how to totally respond when we feel heartbroken–and we sometimes act out in pain, or despair, or even violence. Yet behind even the most violent of acts exists a heartbroken child, a pain deeper than the depths of the deepest ocean, an angst which feels impossible to heal.
It is all healed in love, in allowing. It is tempered with wise choice.
I want to learn to love even more.
I will dice the onions and add them to tortellini pasta mixed with artichoke hearts and olives and steamed garden brocoli. I may cry in the chopping. But today, let’s celebrate the onion and the ability to love a little more. To open our hearts a little more.