2020 Lesson & A Jar of Okra

“I loved your post about the boots,” started Tina. We talk every day on our commutes via the app Marco Polo. We met three years ago in yoga teacher training and became bonded the moment we met. We were meant to meet; synchronicity is the proof. Our conversations are honest, deep, sometimes silly and always supportive. We are each other’s safe space to talk about whatever is coming up. It a a form of spiritual therapy that can only be shared by trusting people who know each other’s fears and joys.

She told me about her mom saving things, particularly food, became a family joke, “Don’t open the pickles, Mom is saving them!”

Picked Okra

This made me think of a jar of pickled okra I had to throw out last weekend. I had saved them so long that they became unsafe to eat. I wasted something I enjoy; something that reminded me of drinking a Bloody Mary in a French Quarter oyster bar in New Orleans.

Mourning my wasted okra inspired Tina, “Abundance is in the savoring.” Value is in the crisp and sour sensation of biting into pickled okra, the memory of your grandmother when you use her china for a regular meal, or wearing your pretty snow boots on a cold wet morning. The flip side of the coin is that everything and anything loses value when it is not enjoyed.

The ceramic Christmas tree my grandmother made.

People also increase in value and meaningfulness as your savor your time and memories. Enjoy daily Marco Polo conversations, phones calls with your parents, Advent traditions with your children, silly text messages with siblings, comment conversations with blog and Instagram regulars, distanced (and masked) weekly wine tastings with your small friend family, Zoom with online communities and so on.

Maybe the ultimate lesson of 2020 is to stop saving and hoarding what is valuable and start savoring. Throw out the “rules” and start connecting to who is important in a way that both feeds and protects you. Christmas will most likely not look like years past, so create new memories.

“Remember the year we opened gifts via FaceTime? It was the first time in five years the entire family did that all together. It was fun to see the kids. Man did we laugh.”

16 thoughts on “2020 Lesson & A Jar of Okra

  1. Debbie says:

    My grandmother had one of those ceramic trees, too, Sarah, and now I’m wondering what happened to it. I think you’re onto something about savoring and cherishing memories, even if some of the traditions have to fall by the wayside during this COVID year. We need to be thankful for the ways we’re still connected and connecting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah Davis says:

      I have a few things I was able to take from her house and the tree was at the top of the list. I also have the living room light she left on when she was expecting family after dark. There was a small set of dessert plates and mugs she kept on display. She never used them. I use them almost daily and think of her every time I grab one.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kathy says:

    I am smiling because I now know what Marco Polo is. 🙂 Also, we have one of those ceramic Christmas trees and will be bringing it upstairs to begin our small bit of holiday decorating maybe this upcoming weekend. Would love to have some canned okra. We don’t really eat okra around here so it might feel like a wild & exotic experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cathartliebe says:

    This reminds me of the story about using the fine china for dinner every day.

    Both of my grandmothers had a collection of fine china dishes that they never used. “For special occasions”. Is every day not a special occasion?

    A conversation about savoring the today had me able to take out the china whenever I wanted to use. I just “needed to be extra careful” with them.

    Liked by 1 person

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