What makes you feel wealthy? I don’t mean measuring the size of your bank account, but the wealth of having enough, the feeling that as long as I have this, I’m OK.
One recent emblem of abundance for me has been having a bowl of coral-gold persimmons on my table. Especially when they come from a neighbor’s tree -- they can be expensive in the market! When I see the bowl, I know that I can have a sweet, luscious snack every day if I feel like it, and it will be good for me. The color just makes me smile.
I did not know how to eat fuyu persimmons until my friend, Jocelyn, modeled the proper fuyu eating stance. We were having a discussion and I watched as she took a persimmon and a small, sharp knife. She simply carved slices off the persimmon and handed one to me. I was shocked at how good it tasted. The other kind, the Hachiya pictured here, might need a long time to ripen into jelly, and can be eaten with a spoon.
Here is the other thing that makes me feel ready to take on the world: I realize how old-fashioned I will sound, but I feel wealthy when I can carry postage stamps in my wallet. Especially those with brilliant pictures on them of dancers or musicians, or wise men and women of history, or flowers. I know I can mail anything on the spur of the moment—an urgent bill perhaps, but more importantly, a fan letter or a thank-you note.
I hated it as a child when my Mom made me sit and write thank-you notes after Christmas and birthdays, but now I'm glad she did; years of experience have taught me how simple it is to jot a note, find the address, add a stamp, and pop it into the mailbox. You never know what a huge impact a little letter in the mail can make.
As I came to realize how many authors work in a vacuum of silence, just like me, and how their books get published to a little fanfare and then get swallowed up by even greater silence, I realized that fan letters are as important as thank you notes. It was a little intimidating, writing to the first author I admired, but I am so glad I did. She sent me a brief reply on a postcard that showed a watercolor painting of a French bakery. Nourishing indeed!
I think stamps mean so much to me because of times in the past when I was traveling and did not have the money to eat more than once every couple of days. I really wanted to send a letter to my family, but did not have the postage, let alone enough to place an international call.
So yes, my wallet contains two sleeves of stamps. And I have clean, warm socks on my feet. I feel like a million dollars, and I think I’ll go eat a persimmon.
Here are some thoughts about weddings, writing, and the world. Enjoy.