Lemons. Whatcha gonna do with them all? I’ve had so many metaphorical lemons in my life but now I have literal ones too. I am infusing olive oil with Meyer lemon zest (for cooking with) and safflower oil for solid deodorant. I am freezing the juice for use later, I need to take my time deciding what to do with the lemons my friend Emma sent me. I’m getting another box from my friend Sharon! I realize why lemons have become equated with a sour deal. But I don’t much sympathize with it because I love sour things. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. To me, lemons represent cleanliness, freshness, zest, sprightly flavor, bright sunshine, healing, and joy. Make lemonade out of lemons? Fine. Do that. But why limit yourself? You can make lemon curd, lemon tarts, add lemon to tea, lemon pound cake, limoncello (which, for the record, I find bitter and disappointing but I like to think it’s possible to make this an amazing drink), lemons to clean pots and pans, lemons to degrease, lemons to infuse into oils, lemons into cosmetics, added to home made ginger ale!
Lemons are an amazing gift. Situations that seem sour? Also come with gifts if you’re willing to recognize them. My mental illness comes with gifts. Gifts that others have envied without realizing that’s the source of some of them. Getting sick gives you an opportunity to rest your body, to slow down. Bad jobs can clarify your mind about what you really want and need from a job giving you a much clearer path forward. Abuse shows some people the strength of the human spirit, the ability to see it where others can’t, and sometimes the ability to access it in the most impossible situations. Fires often cleanse a landscape and a life of debris and confusion, bringing simplicity and thankfulness where before there was clutter and expectation. Even death gives the gift of making room on the planet for new life.
Sugar, on the other hand, shows its pleasures and gifts flagrantly while hiding beneath the surface many evils of disease, rot, and somnabulance of mind.
I prefer transparent evils and hidden gifts.