This afternoon, I was sitting in the sun peeling a pomegranate. While the sun’s warmth melted the tension in my back, I was delighted by the dark bright color of the interior of the fruit. The sun’s rays showed the white seeds through the translucent red juice. The color was as bright and delightful as the taste: popping with a strong sweet and tart burst of flavor. Peeling a pomegranate is an exercise in patience, nothing like other fruit that one can give a quick rinse and is ready to be enjoyed. The design of a pomegranate is equally amazing: thin white material separates the sections, safeguarding the seeds of part of the fruit in case some section is affected by rot.
Since it takes a while to free each seed from the interior hard surfaces, I had plenty of time for reflection. I felt awe at the abundance of seeds inside one fruit. Aren’t we similar? Beneath our appearance lies an array of potential. We can forget that this is the case for ourselves, and we can forget when we look at others. Sitting opposite clients I am reminded time and again of the rich and strong inner world that can manifest while exterior forces bring extraordinary challenges. Hidden strengths are accessed that weren’t apparent before the difficulties.
The Vietnamese teacher Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us to be mindful of which seeds we water, as what we tend to grows. Are we watering the seeds of kindness and understanding, or the ones of impatience and judgement? This applies to how we treat ourselves as well as others.
Experiencing strong negative feelings can be like a pomegranate without the interior separations. These emotions can sometimes seep into our whole being. Self-doubt brought on by a particular difficult circumstance can take us over, or something not going right in our life can seem like nothing is working. Can we see ourselves as a kind person who made a mistake, rather than a broken person who messed up again? And can we perceive others similarly?
There is something so delightful about these seasonal fruits, bringing a juicy crunch of contrasting color to a salad, or a handful popped straight into one’s mouth offering a tasty reward for patient peeling.
Wishing you all peace and happiness in the new year and new decade. May this next time period be one in which we can water positive seeds and bring individual and global transformation.