Ripe

In Posts by Heather Hendrie

This, I need to remember.

That sometimes, it just isn’t time.

This morning, when I raised my hand to this shining blackberry, it dropped into my fingers. Warmed by the sun, it spilled its sweet, musky juices, and nearly melted away in my mouth. Pulling at it a day earlier, it didn't want to let go of its stem, and had I grabbed at it, I’m sure it would have tasted slightly sour.

I’ve spent years pulling at the unripe berries. Not only did the thorns scratch me on my way in, the taste was never quite right either. That’s what happens on the days when I push my way through the to-do list when what I really need to do is to call my sister. Or when I wait on hold with the credit card company’s muzak for an “estimated wait time of 36 minutes” because that’s what I was supposed to do right then. Those are days when nothing works out because I’m forcing it and I really need to try a new tack - like going out for a run or taking a bath. Suddenly, when it’s time, the things that I thought just had to happen will flow a little more easily.

Image

Flow state is like that.

When optimal arousal meets perfect preparedness, it creates this window of wonder where sometimes things just work. For me in those moments, I “lose time”, experiencing that perfect turn in fresh snow, a moment of pure bliss as I hold my niece’s hand, or writing just the right thing and knowing it’s right.

When I meet the warning of thorns now or I feel the fruit resisting harvest, I would like to say that I pause, notice, breathe. But the reality is that on some days, I just get annoyed. I want the fruit now so I pull harder and yank it off the branch. But in my quieter wisdom, I recognize this rushing and grabbing as one more tiny act of violence in a world that already sees far too much violence. If it’s not time, it’s not time. Pause, notice, breathe. Because there is nothing, but nothing like the beauty of ripe.

Image