One wonderful thing about Costa Rica is the amazing variety of fruit trees growing up everywhere. In my little garden alone we have sweet lemons, mangos, bananas, limes, and an impressive fruit called guanabana. It turns out that this fruit provides one of my favorite drinks in the world, all white and frothy, and a little bit like a cross between pears and flowers. It’s sometimes called sour soup here, but it’s really yummy. For a while I ordered this delight at every local restaurant hoping to find the best guanabana potion possible. I even had the chance to make it myself when a magnificent specimen of this fruit showed up on a low branch of the tree in my yard. It looks like a big prickly green melon on the outside, but the inside is this soft white fleshy fruit filled with nectar.
My fascination about this is my belief that the most simple things bring the most beautiful memories. I know that the thought of this drink alone will bring back a host of images of different opportunities I had to sample it in the mountains, or near a volcano, or at the Peruvian restaurant in Santa Ana where my friend, Douglas, first introduced it to me. Personally, I think these little gifts of life are more lasting than let’s say the souvenir mask that was purchased at the gift shop on the way out of the airport simply because it was made in Costa Rica. Even if you hang it on the wall, you can’t really remember why you wanted it.
Thoughts of guanabana will bring Costa Rica back to me and make it even more dear to my heart. With that idea, I realized that some other triggers exist to bring warm memories too. The Sound of Music recording with Julie Andrews, for example, always makes me think of the first time my sister, who had just gotten her own car, drove me all the way from Unadilla, New York to Syracuse to see the movie. I will always remember how special I felt that day and I think it was the beginning of the mutual friendship we have been blessed to share ever since. A rainbow triggers a multitude of memories of answered prayers for me and the fresh smell of apple pie makes me think of my mother who often creates warm memories with her ability to bake homemade delights. It’s these little things that are the ingredients of life, the ones that make the real difference. For me, these are the things that hug my heart and keep me connected to every decade of my experience.
It’s worthwhile then to remember the simple things, the handmade birthday card, the flowers picked just for you. Keep them as a snapshot in your mind and place them gently in the scrapbook of your heart so you can refer back to them any time at all. You’ve been blessed beyond measure, walked in Grace, and been loved in ways that you cannot afford to let slip from your view. Let’s all take today and thank those who have walked with us and given us those simple pleasures, those blessed treasures that no one can ever take away and time can never erase. May you have many more guanabana days!