Sunday, December 14, 2014

An Avocado As Metaphor: Putting Everything Into Perspective With A Simple Act In December Before The Holidays.

"Can you get me an avocado?" the text message reads.

It was a week.

The lawyer emails me on Wednesday, "The seller wants to pull out of the sale," and I was in my office. Months of looking, paperwork, mortgage companies, lawyers, and bank transfers change gears just like that. "It's all good," I write back. "All will be okay."

The night before, Chitunga makes a comment that we haven't had steak in a while. I process the loss of sale, and I think to myself, "It's all good. I'll make steak."

I stop at Big Y and get the steak, texting Chitunga to ask if he needs anything. I don't hear back from him until I make my purchases and return to my driveway. Then the text arrives. "Can you get me an avocado?" I write back, "Too late. I already left the store."

But then I think about histories, life stories, personal journeys, and purpose, and I say to myself, "You can get the kid an avocado. It's only up the road." And I drive back and get him what he requested. In the back of my mind I am thinking, "A house is material. Another will come along, but for now he requested an avocado. I can do that."

It was an easy purchase and I did it in a matter of seconds. I got home and put it in the refrigerator for when he is finished with work. I think about my parents, the safety I had from 18 years+ of living in their home and the numerous sacrifices they made so I could go to college, adventure to England as a 19 year old, travel to Kentucky to earn a masters degree, then another, before settling as a teacher, and the TLC - with support - that they shared when I returned to Syracuse to earn a doctorate. I could not be the man I am today without the unconditional love and backbone they continuously provided.

I am grateful and, for this reason, it only seems logical to pay it forward. He takes the avocado out of the fridge and lets it mellow out a couple of days. One morning at breakfast, I see him eating it with some bread he's prepared. I think to myself, "It's December. This is what it's all about."

And nights later I look at the glittering icicles hanging on my windows in the form of lights and decorations, knowing that the Great Whatever writes a larger story for us all. In the end, the house doesn't matter. In the end, it's a simple story like this that that brings everything into focus.

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