Scattered and troubling thoughts filled my mind as I stood at my dwarf lemon tree this morning – the loss of life in Japan, the incongruity of the trickle of a surge that made its way across the Pacific from Asia and which barely interrupted our morning coffee, my own personal woes.

The branches were bowed with the weight of their fruit and here and there a new white blossom peeked around the yellow orbs – promises of things to come. 

As I plucked and pulled and pondered, the air around me became sweet and the red bowl in my hands sent up wafts of fragrance as I filled it.  Lemons smell impossibly sweet when you pick them. You’d never guess inside that sunny yellow exterior are sections of sour that will set your teeth on edge. On the outside, they smell like candy.

The inside of a lemon, useful as it is for so many things, is not the same thing as its outside. You can’t describe a lemon by saying it is sour and hey, that is all it is. It is a remarkable blend of both make-you-cringe-intense and make-you-sigh sublime. It depends on which part you are experiencing.

Rather like life. If all I wanted to see today was make-you-cringe intense, there is plenty of it. But that is not all Today is. There is beauty, too. Life is also a remarkable blend of bitter and sweet. 

You know that old saying, if life hands you lemons, make lemonade? I’d like to say instead if life hands you lemons, fill a red bowl with them, hold them close to your face and breathe in deeply. There is sweetness there. It is not where you think it should be, not on the inside. It’s in another place.

But it is there. . .

Author: Susan

This post has 2 Comments

  1. pinkdaisyjane on March 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Such beauty and comfort in these words…

  2. Anonymous on March 11, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    And there is precious fruit here, too. Thanks, Sooz. I'm going to tell my dwarf lemon what you said and hope it encourages it to bloom and fruit. It thinks it's a divining rod, pointing to a water pipe.

    Mary Kay

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