I’m writing this at the end of December right before the holidays. It’s a time for joy and celebration when boughs of holly and glittering lights adorn our homes. But it is also a time of year that can easily stress one out as well. We have “To Do” lists miles long and the days are flying by, and will it all get done in time? Well, I’m no different and I still need to check off all my boxes on my list. So, this month I can only give you a short little written contribution. I call it my Ode to an Orange – it’s a magical spell – a way for you to pause time – a Zen meditation – a destressing ritual.
Firstly, have you ever wondered what came first: the name for the color orange or the orange citrus fruit? Why do we not call “yellow” “lemon?” Have you ever considered how ridiculously lucky you are to be living in modern times? One of the reasons you are so lucky is that you can go to a grocery store nearby and there you will find all sorts of fresh fruits and vegetables. Consider the lowly peasant hundreds and hundreds of years ago in England and how their minds would have been blown to have in their grubby worn out hands a single, bright, glorious orange!
The history of the orange goes back to ancient times in Asia and it’s spread across the world was relatively slow. There are many, many, many different kinds of oranges too. For our ritual, I prefer a jumbo navel orange, but a clementine or mandarin (although not technically oranges) will work too. Fun facts: The navel is named thus due to its human belly button looking bloom end and was a genetic mutation kept in existence due to humans agreeing that it was special. It is a seedless fruit so in order to keep it around, one must graft its budding branches onto other citrus trees!
So, for this ritual, you will need your chosen citrus and you will need solitude. There are some other optional ingredients that I like to have and I like to practice this magic on a bright morning. I like to have a cup of dark coffee (no sugar or cream) and some music playing. My music choices vary but always are something that is grounding. Like, you want to sit and take it in. But maybe silence or birds outside do that for you? Ok, now back to our orange.
Hold the orange in both hands, let it rest in your palms. Feel its weight and its bumpy shiny skin. Now – with both hands still around it, bring it up to you and SMELL IT! (I know right? So good!) Breathe it in deeply a few times.
Now this next step you can customize as well. You can have a knife to open your fruit, or you can use your bare hands. But now, open it up, expose its sweet golden bulbs of juicy splendor! If you have a navel orange, you’ll probably need the knife and a cutting board as its skin is thicker, but a clementine you can peal up bare handed. At this point, I like to put a slice of the peel in my coffee – the oil just infuses it so nicely. Seriously – it’s so heavenly.
I’ll not tell you exactly how to eat it, but I like to only eat up the pulp parts. The key is to take your time and REALLY savor it. Think on just completely being in the moment. In the end, you will have a stinky mess. But let the cleaning of your hands be a washing away of the goo of life too. There is so much goodness that comes with your delicious sweet orange. Let it become a part of you and let in renew and invigorate you – because we’ve got a lot of good to do in this world of ours and you’re gonna need to take good care of yourself to get it all done!
Go ahead and check off another box on your list; the one that says: take some time to relax, ground, and reenergize yourself! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year All! Take Care!