After reading the advice in February’s Power Path Shaman report, I added a daily reminder to my calendar to “allow the day to unfold in a magical way.” It’s a conscious effort to offset my tendency toward getting caught in fear and lack, especially during this career transition that begs me to trust in a way that defies my instincts.
Thus, last Friday, as I was heading out to coordinate a training that is part of a freelancing gig that barely pays the bills, I grabbed a bunch of bananas from my kitchen counter to share with the group, as I had promised fruit to supplement the bagels I’d be providing for the meeting that day.
As a vegan, bananas and avocados are staples of my diet. If I don’t have them in the house, I can be tempted to go grab a less nutritious and budget-friendly option on the road….like say perhaps a half dozen vegan donuts from one of my favorite Oakland donut shops. This is exactly what I set out to do the day after the training when I realized I had given away the last of my bananas. I headed to Vegan Donut Gelato, where they now recognize me as a regular.
Quick digression…allowing myself to be seen as a regular at a donut shop is a milestone along my body positivity journey. I remember the days living in Manhattan in the early 90’s, at the peak of my food addiction, just before I’d swapped out food for sex and love addiction…I’d located enough bodegas en route from my waitressing job to class at Hunter College that I could stealthily gather what I needed to shove down my feelings when back at the dorm — honey nut cheerios, those plastic-wrapped raspberry fig bars, Entenmann’s donuts or cakes, and the like. I was already known as “gordita” at work so I was certainly not letting my food choices bring more attention to me at my local grocer.
So, as I was confidently and gleefully departing the donut shop with two glazed, one chocolate frosted, and one lemon custard donut to share with my neighbor, I exchanged smiles with a man who pulled in next to the spot I was pulling out of. Window open on another unseasonably sunny day in February, he said “hey,” as he opened a trunk revealing a box with two bunches of bananas in it. “This is overflow from a funeral. Would you like some bananas?” OH JOY, the day IS unfolding in a magical way, I thought. My bananas are being replaced by a generous stranger! I replied “sure, thank you and I am sorry for your loss.” “He was a wonderful Uncle,” he replied as he handed me a bunch of eight bananas. I took the bananas and responded “I will eat these in your Uncle’s honor.”
When I got home, I gave half the bananas to my neighbor who later returned them after being advised by a loved one NOT to eat bananas given by a stranger in a parking lot. I mean, I get it. How do I know the intent of the man was not to poison as many donut-eating gluttons with poison bananas that he could find? But, really? I don’t believe that to be true. So much as I wonder about the integrity of the human race, in practice I tend to believe the best in people until proven otherwise. But, the bananas are still sitting on my counter with maybe one day left to make banana bread with before being thrown in the compost bin and disrespecting the honor of this stranger’s late Uncle.
I hate wasting food. I want to believe in magic. I want to believe in the goodness of people. I really want to make banana bread but of the three people whose opinion I’ve asked, two have strongly advised against eating this gift horse in the mouth. What would you do? Eat the bananas and trust the goodness of humankind or look at the evidence that humans can really suck and might actually be on a banana-armed killing spree?