By: Suzanne Reisler Litwin
It was a warm summer’s evening when I was preparing a BBQ dinner for my family. The outdoor table setting was filled with yellows, blues, and greens. Fitting for a lovely bright evening dinner. The vegetables were on the grill as the meat brochettes were still soaking in marinade. The salad dressing was about to be applied to the seasonal vegetables. Everything was ready and timed for a wonderful evening.
My family was asking when dinner was going to be ready, which is a sure sign they are hungry. Within 30 minutes, dinner was served.
Just before we finished the main course, I went into the kitchen to put together a fruit platter. The purely white plate included local strawberries, fresh melons, and grapes – my favorite.
While I was preparing the fruit platter, I was helping myself to some delicious grapes. As I was putting a grape into my mouth a fly whizzed by me and I dropped it. I reached to pick it up, but it quickly rolled under the fridge. I dove to get it, but it was too late. It rolled very far under the fridge, I couldn’t see it anymore. I figured at the end of the evening, I would take a long stick and try to get it out. I was going to save that grape!
The summer months passed. The beautiful burnt fall leaves set in and out. Winter’s wind started to blow. The days were being filled with darker hours and cuddling time begun. The frost of winter set onto the snow packed backyard table.
Those bright summer’s evenings were so far behind us. Almost inconceivably so far away that I asked myself, how can the backyard table be so full of light and life only 6 months ago? How can the seasons be so dramatic? How can the winter’s wind swallow up all the humidity and replace it with a dark frozen mask? In all the same place and space, just a matter of time is the difference. How can it be, but it is.
So, now I am making a stew instead of a BBQ. The kind that warms the soul with socks kept on your feet. Under a blanket is where we will eat this watching a movie. Sort of waiting and waiting for Spring to start its fight with Winter. Those two fight it out like no other seasonal battle. There is no greater match than Winter vs Spring!
Then, the unexpected happens.
The fridge breaks down. Actually, I’ve expected this to happen. It was old and tired. It made unusual sounds and the lights flickered. The serial # said it was 30 years old. That’s a hell of a good machine. Old Betsy had to retire. She was a great fridge, but now it was time for a new sexy stainless model. The new kid on the block who made filtered water ice, Young Stella, the Ice Making Queen!
After much selection and time, the new spanking clean smelling fridge was being delivered. I was so excited. Old Betsy was being removed. We thanked her for her excellent, never missed a day of work service. Off she went.
That’s when I found the lost grape!
A reinvented new soul! Like a caterpillar who slept in a cocoon and developed into a gorgeous butterfly. Like a tadpole who morphed into a strong legged frog. This grape turned into a raisin. Covered in dust, however, a reincarnation.
Such a little thing, which had so much promise, was lost that summer’s evening. Now is a raisin which has a new purpose and flavor. Still a useful fruit. Dusty, but still very useful.
This got me thinking. How even in the depths of despair, like being lost under a fridge, can one still come out as being useful, just changed?
Perhaps this raisin had hopes to be a delicious Raisin Glosette candy one day?
Can we learn from the experience of the lost grape? Even when we are lost, alone in the dark, with great despair, there is always hope we will recover. Perhaps we will not recover as the person we once were. Perhaps we will recover as a newly reinvented self. To never be the same, but to still have meaningful purpose.
We can just be, a different me. And…that’s ok. That was fine for the grape, the butterfly, and the frog. It should be fine for us too. Just to be, but to be different than we were.
I took the lost grape, now a raisin off the floor. I washed it lightly, simply to remove the dust, but not to change its present dry state. I placed it into the new freezer drawer, next to the very sexy ice machine. In the spring, I will plant it into the ground and allow the insects to feed off of it. This raisin will have a new purpose as it will be “one with the world”.
Bottom line, if a simple lost grape can reinvent itself, well… so can we!
Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an instructor at Concordia University in The Centre for Continuing Education. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban newspaper. She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. She lives in Montreal, Canada with her 3 children, Allyn, Taylor, and Duke and her husband Laurie. Suzanne contributes regularly to West Island Blog under her column Keeping it Real. Please visit her website www.suzannereislerlitwin.com to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.