I left the onion in the refrigerator thinking that I would use it later to cook something delicious. What a surprise. Impatient to move on with its own life's plan it had morphed into something beautiful but useless for cooking. There must be a blog in this somewhere. So, it sits on the kitchen counter and speaks to me.
It speaks to me of how precious life is. And how demanding life is. I am reminded of hiking in the mountains, seeing a young tree growing in the crack of a huge rock. An improbable place to live. Years ago (when there was no hope for survival from a lung cancer diagnosis), I heard anger in the voice of a patient’s wife: “I have tried to keep this man alive! I even patted the grease off his fried eggs before serving them.” When I was first married I contemplated having a career or becoming a mother. But deep within me three babies demanded to be born. When the second was born and I now had a boy and a girl a nurse asked if I thought I might want another. My mother responded: “Well, what else is there to have?” And just as quickly I retorted: “another baby”. I somehow knew then that there would be another. But when the third arrived four years later no one else made that demand of me.
Looking at that onion I recall my genetics class. We took the thin, almost transparent layer from between the onion layers, stained it and looked at it through a microscope. It is only one cell layer thick and I could see cells in various stages of division: the process called mitosis. I still recall the awe I felt. It was as if the very beginning of life was being revealed to me.
Like all life we too began as single cells. Jeremiah, a prophet in the Old Testament, is told by God: “before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you.” What idea can possibly be more personal, more validating or more astounding than that? In a world that seems so determined to depersonalize our humanity I hope never to forget that everyone I meet is endowed with that same determination to live. And never to forget that all of Creation is endowed with that same determination to be all that it was meant to be.
Ann Dolbier is a friend and supporter of Celtic Way