Winter Diary: Not Another Lemonade
Discourses by Meher Baba. In one of the early chapters in Vol. I, he differentiates between need and want by saying when one is thirsty, it is water one needs, not lemonade. This made me laugh for I have being having issue with our popular lemonade saying. You know the one: "when life gives you a lemon you make a lemonade?" Well, despite the fact that I love lemonades (and I make really really good lemonades), I do not care for this saying. It sounds in need of jolts of creativity. The thing is, the idea of making just the one (and quite useless, too) thing out of a rather good gift feels like a genuine waste. So perhaps what they are actually saying is that when life gives you a lemon, first you say thank you. Not because you know what the lemon is but because you had no lemon and now you have one; and because you have the good sense to recognize a beautiful gift when you are given one. Secondly, you make and take the time to understand your lemon: you learn about its different skins, food, juice, and seeds inside. Thirdly, you decide the best way to extract as much use as you possibly can from your little lemon. What you decide to do with your lemon would, of course, have to be based on your needs. The goal would be to make something useful, that is, to extract beauty from the beautiful. Hence you use it in a way that nurtures you, not just merely give your tastebuds two seconds of pleasure. By not just opting for a lemonade, one gets creative, takes risks, learn a thing here and there. And one comes to the realization that there are so many awesome things that one can do with a lemon. One may peel the skins, dry them and burn them as mosquito repellent; perhaps one needs the sort of thing or knows someone who could benefit from a mosquito repellent. One may learn to extract oil from the lemon skins and use it in numerous ways. One may preserve the juice and use it on the skin as treatment for dark spots, or add a drop or two to water for a lemony taste. One may eat the chaff for food; good roughage! Or perhaps rub the chaff in the underarms and wash it off in the shower as a great way to prevent bad body odor. Then one may plant the seeds, learn to become a lemon farmer, or something of the sort. Or one may learn to paint lemons and become a master lemon painter. And all these ways of living with the exciting gift of a lemon would be ways of expressing gratitude in a nurturing way. Thus one goes from merely saying thank you to living thankfully. In other words, the better way to enjoy the lemon thoroughly would be in the ways that makes its gift a continuous event, rather than in ways that squander and impoverish. Thus making Life so glad it gave you that lemon, as are you, from the bottom of your heart.