Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wait for It

All good things come to those who wait.

I'm not sure where this one came from. Neither are the Internetz, which variously attributed it to Abraham Lincoln, the bible, someone's mom, and that great amalgamation of wisdom of questionable provenance, "Old English Proverbs."

See also: Time and tide wait for no man. Every good proverb's got a friend telling you to do exactly the opposite.

Anyway, it's not true. (The first proverb; the second one is hard to refute. Time is the monster under the bed, the bogey against whom we keep a nightlight burning, count to three and three and then eight, hop sidewalk cracks. We know, when we're young, to be afraid, just not of what.)

I know the proverb is not true because I've tried it, the waiting. I am very much in favor of waiting as a way to get stuff you want. It is much more pleasant and less effortful than vigorous pursuit, fearless leaping, dogged perseverance, all-out assault, and other (arguably more successful) methods of acquiring good things. Waiting requires patience, but little thought, and you can usually busy yourself with something else in the meantime, like drinking tea.

So I wait. Every now and again I check to make sure all good things haven't fallen into my lap when I'm not looking, or at least deposited themselves discreetly on the sideboard, but all I find is my discarded teacup. Occasionally I stumble upon a good thing, like an insight into my tea-brewing technique or a resolution to acquire more mugs, but all good things, fulsomely plural, are singularly elusive.

Here's what does come, reliably and with grace, to those who wait: persimmons.

Yes, that fruit you're afraid of in the grocery store. Buy persimmons anyway. They are orange and lovely and impossibly bitter; you will try, but will be unable, to eat them. Give up. Tumble the persimmons into a pretty bowl. Leave the pretty bowl on a table in the sun. Do the proverbial waiting. In four days, five, six, seven, you'll have bright sweetness the color a cardinal's breast. Persimmons ripen slowly. They force you, ever so gently, to bide your time. Which waits for no man, but might wait for persimmons, if it knew what was good for it.

1 comment:

Noa said...

Persimmons are delicious. I recommend them in salad. With goat cheese.