When I was just a wee little tyke, I lived in what could have been Hippy Town Central. One place I remember very well is the Food Co-op that I would go to with my Mummy. I remember vividly the smell of that place–it smelled like henna, granola, and barley grass. And I vividly remember the people in that place–they were often barefoot, sporting heads full of dread-locks, and wearing what appeared to be hemp clothing.
I remember buying roasted peanuts with Mummy and taking them to this food co-op and pouring them into the grinder they had. Nothing but salt and roasted peanuts went into that grinder, but the substance that came out was one of the most delicious things I had ever tasted in my short little life. We had buckets and jars full of that all-natural “homemade” peanut butter.
I loved that peanut butter. I stole that peanut butter from the closet and ate it with my fingers. I ate so many apples with that peanut butter that I had to stop eating apples because they were messing up my stomach. I ate pancakes with that peanut butter. I sat on a bucket of wheat in the pantry and stared at that peanut butter.
One dark, dark day, I received the news that we were plumb out of that peanut butter. I looked at my sandwich for lunch that day and stared icily at the imposter peanut butter that was spread inside. Life seemed a little bland after that fateful day.
Years passed. Seasons changed. Playgrounds watched as the children they once knew grew to be adults and moved on. Little trees grew to be big trees. Time moved along as time is known to do. And never once during those many, many years did I taste anything even close to that peanut butter. Mummy even tried to buy the most natural peanut butter the stores had to try to see if I would like it the way I liked that other peanut butter, but no . . . it just wouldn’t do. My taste buds began to give up on ever tasting such goodness again.
Until one day. Years and years and years later.
It was a day that promised to be bright, hot, and sunny. I went about my day as usual–breakfasted on nectarines and strawberries and yogurt, took care of some daily things, had my sweet time with my Jesus, went to work at the Ludy’s, made lunch for the kiddos . . . Suddenly I stopped and gasped. I bent and peered closer at the peanut butter I was absentmindedly spreading on the bread. I tilted my head to one side and brought the bread up to my face. This stuff looked familiar! This stuff smelled familiar! I looked into the situation further–both through the test of tasting it and also asking where this peanut butter had been acquired. The answer confirmed what I had thought: it had been homemade out of salt and roasted peanuts.
Oh, joyous reunion!
My taste buds and that peanut butter were finally reunited after years of desperate searching for each other. My taste buds had certainly been pining for the peanut butter, and I shall, to the end of my days, be convinced that that peanut butter was pining for my taste buds.
Yesterday was a good day.