Many years ago I read a story about a young woman having troubles. Her father, a chef, shows her carrots, eggs, and coffee – below is a link to the story in case you have not read it.
It’s a good story with a great message, but I don’t like it. Why? Because no matter how much an egg wants to be coffee, it will never be coffee. Same for the carrot, and the coffee, after it changes the water, it has to leave, in fact the ground beans are thrown away; before it changes the water, it has to be ground to a dust. Think about that.
I want to love all three, the carrot, the egg, and the coffee, for who they are, not what or who they want to be. Being true to yourself is empowering, and knowing yourself, what you can do, what you can’t do, is important. The carrot becomes soft with the trial, so do some people. Should we still love them even though they are not as strong as they once were? YES!
What of the egg, soft heart turned hard with the trial, should we love them still. YES! And then coffee beans that change the water with the trial, should the beans, grounds and drained of their energy, still be loved? YES, somehow.
Together the three make a meal. Boiled carrots are still good to eat, as are boiled eggs, and with some kale, lettuce, onion, tomato, mayonnaise, maybe some apples, with coffee (a little milk in the coffee), isn’t that a nice meal? But it is all together that make it happen. There are some foods that don’t really fit in the salad, but can still be a part of the meal. (just a thought there)
I think we need the carrot, the egg, and the coffee together. Of course I am actually talking about people and how different we can be, and how together we make up society. There are the strong, that sometimes become weak, there are the good-hearted, who can become bitter and hard, and there are the changers, those who make things different. That can be good or bad by the way.
So, maybe we can’t choose to be coffee, but we can be part of the meal, in our own way. I think so, but I am a romantic at heart, and maybe delusional? The world in its reality is cruel, and harsh, difficult. Suffering seems always to be there. But how much suffering do we bring on ourselves? Maybe more than we think. I want the world to just be. That’s what I think “Be still and know that I am God” means.
Recently I visited Antietam Battlefield because an ancestor of mine was there. As I sat at the monument erected in 1903, I looked over the meadow and it was eerily peaceful. I thought back to that battle and then to the present, and as I sat there I observed life. Birds, insects, maybe there were mammals like rabbits, and deer too that I didn’t see. The meadow, while peaceful without the battle, was anything but still, it was alive. So to me right now the directive, be still and know I am God means let life be. I’m not sure that the greater world can do that.
What has any of that got to do with carrots, eggs and coffee? Well, metaphorically speaking, in the great salad of life, we all play our part, and sometimes we are strong, or soft, or whole, and sometimes we are soft (when we used to be strong), hard (when we used to be soft), or not there, even though we have left a part of ourselves. We all count, we all matter, even when we change.