“When my oldest niece was three years old, my brother would drive her to daycare in the morning, and her mother, who worked as a stockbroker and financial planner, would pick her up in the afternoon. She always brought an orange, peeled so that her daughter could eat it on the way home. One day the child was busying herself by playing ‘Mommy’s office’ on the front porch of our house in Honolulu, and I asked her what her mother did at work. Without hesitation, and with a conviction I relish to this day, she looked up at me and said, ‘She makes oranges.’
“My niece could wait waithout anxiety for this daily ritual, a liturgy of the delicious orange, bright as the sun, sweet with the juice that is the body and blood of this world. The child thus fed learns to trust in others, and in God. The fruit we are given is not always what we expect or want; it may even be bitter, but we are secure in knowing that it is given to us out of love. The capacity for trust engendered in such ordinary encounters as those between mother and child has a deep significance not only for individuals but also for the human community. It grants us joy in the present and hope for the future. It allows us to believe in love more than in hate and to love life all the more because it comes to an end.”
Now that’s what I’d call squeezing orange juice from an orange. Norris may not be an earthly mother, but she was able to drain a whole lot of sweet insight out of an ordinary, innocent moment with her niece that enriched me, and I hope will do the same for you.
I have hit upon more than a few treasures in this latest read and will be back with more soon. May your orange juice be more sweet than bitter as the week progresses.