When I found a good deal on organic produce (usually through Azure Standard) I usually go for it. Carrots tend to be a pretty good deal, and so I often will buy them in 25 pound bags. Which is a lot of carrots! And sometimes we go through more carrots sooner, but this time, I realized I still had probably over 10 pounds remaining in the bag. It was time to do some surgery.
I was reflecting on how rather parable-like this situation was.
Some carrots were just not able to be saved. I feared the rot spots had gotten to the core, or there were too many spots that I could shave off all of them, or they, at worst, looked like orange zebras. Those just went in to the compost. It was hard to just throw ’em away, but I had to do it. (I couldn’t save them, but that doesn’t mean they were beyond hope – they would, in the future, enrich the soil, though I wouldn’t be able to tell which carrot was which grain of soil. It made me think about friends I’ve had that I tried to “save” – help them have a positive outlook, help them to become what I felt was ‘better’, in whatever way, but the toxicity of the relationship wasn’t good for me, and so I had to entrust them to God, and forces beyond my own control. That is hard to do – but no one is beyond hope.)
Some were half bad, and so I just amputated the bad end, and the flowering end, and called it good. (This sort of reminds me of relationship where I can relate to the person on some levels, but not all. These are due to be not the most fulfilling of friendships or relationships, but they are a starting point, and a point for me to learn, and to share. Some friendships can deepen over time. Did you know that carrots are biennials? You can’t collect seeds from them the first year, but only the second. You have to store a carrot and over winter it, then plant it the next growing season, where it will yield lots of seeds.)
Some had just a few spots, and so I sliced those off with a knife. (We are all imperfect, myself included. We usually have a spot or two, but it can be rather painless and quick to do away with spots, if they are present to us. This reminded me that each day, I want to review what has happened, and think of what I’m thankful for, what I did wrong, and ask forgiveness for those things and vow to do better next time.)
A few carrots, maybe 7 of the almost 40? that I dealt with this morning, were just perfect still. Not a trace of rot, slime, or black. That was kind of outstanding, because they were all in the same bag. And you know with (ahem) improperly stored carrots (or many things, for that matter) the rot, the mold, the yuck can spread easily. Why these carrots remained in great condition? Not sure. Many contributing factors, I’d wager. (These are what my brother, J., would call ‘profound friends’ – the friends you connect with on the deepest level. For me, that level would include a sharing of faith, most often a similar Catholic faith, but sometimes Christian faith, or even another religion. Those that sincerely seek the truth will find it. I give thanks daily for these friendships – because they are very few and far between.)
But, the goal for me, was to keep as many of them edible for my family. It certainly took more time to preserve them than if *I* would have properly stored them in the first place. What I will say about myself as carrot steward is, I do value food, and consider it a gift – my daily bread. I think many people see a spot, and immediately chuck the whole works. I just can’t do that – anymore.
I sometimes get frustrated with people – and with myself. But people are what matter, and they are worth my time, my intercessions and prayer, and my care – from the smallest to the tallest, the least to the greatest. Baby carrots to gargantuan stew carrots.