Green Bananas

  • About two weeks ago we came sailing to the British Virgin Islands, to relax, play, enjoy being together, brainstorm InspireMeToday.com, and to give me time to percolate some ideas I’ve had, including writing a new book.

    Well, you know me, and know that I believe a lot of things in life are metaphors for your life. After this sailing trip, I think life is a lot like bananas. Let me explain. On our first day here, the 28th of July, I provisioned the boat from Bobby’s, the local grocery store in downtown Road Town, Tortola. I bought a stalk of bananas as I love to eat them for breakfast each morning. All of the bananas in the store were bright green, so I purchased what they had- green bananas.

    I think I now understand why bananas must be picked this green to arrive to our stores in the US and still be just a little bit green when we purchase them thousands of miles away. But, I’ve never seen bananas this green. It’s been more then 10 days now and these bananas are still like rocks. I’ve been a really good babysitter- each day I take them in from the afternoon rain showers, and then bring them back out into the sun when I’m sure the squall has passed. I thought they liked the sun! It can turn my skin dark in a day but it can’t change a banana in 10 days? No matter what I do, they have no intention of turning yellow, or at least not in my lifetime. I think watching grass grow would be more exciting than watching these bananas get ripe.

    I’ve had all kinds of ideas on how to make a green banana ripe, as I want to eat these NOW! Actually, I’ve wanted to eat them for the past week. But no, they still sit here rock hard and bright green. Some days I wonder if they’re really bananas, and not the plastic fruit from some tacky fruit bowl centerpiece. I even had the idea of nuking them in the microwave to ripen them- if I had a microwave on the boat, which I don’t. Putting them in a brown bag doesn’t seem to work either. I’m almost out of ideas.

    How often do you have an idea, a project or a plan that you want to implement NOW but no matter what you do, things just don’t line up for you? Green bananas. There’s something to be said for all things in perfect timing. You just can’t fight Nature. Bananas will ripen when they’re ready, just as my idea will ripen when it too is ready. Sometimes I get impatient and too hard on myself. It’s the simple experiences in life that gently teach me that I’m not always in control, no matter how real the illusion looks to me. Sometimes I do have to be patient whether I like it or not.

    When you look at Nature, in my experience, the fruit is at its sweetest point and always falls from the tree when it’s ripe. But yet many times, metaphorically, we go get a really big ladder, drag it to the tree, precariously perch our rickety ladder against a limb and climb out hoping that the fruit will be ripe. Worse yet, sometimes we pick it when it’s still sour, hard or in the case of my bananas, green. Life is so much easier when we allow it to unfold without our trying to force things or make them ripe before their time.

    So, I’ll put my stalk of bananas in the sun, go make a rum punch, and enjoy the breeze under a palm tree on the beach. The bananas will get ripe when they choose to do so. And in the meantime I’m going to relax and know that all things are unfolding and happening in my life with the exact perfect timing. I’ll leave the bananas as a present for the next person who charters the boat, and perhaps I’ll leave some of the stress I brought along with me here too.

    Note: (written with a smile) I wrote the above blog on August 8th. Yesterday morning, August 9th, as we’re packing to leave the boat, I noticed a bright yellow banana that actually had some brown spots, just hanging out with the rest of the green ones. It was as if the banana was saying, “Now, aren’t you glad you waited?”. The last thing I did as I left the boat was eat that banana. I think I enjoyed it more than I ever have any banana before. I guess some things are worth waiting for. Yum!

    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of InspireMeToday.com, bringing the best inspiration to the world. InspireMeToday.com provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to InspireMeToday.com, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

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    1. Steve Woodruff
      Steve Woodruff says:

      That’s a very interesting analogy, and very appropriate. This week, I believe my business venture (which I started two years ago) finally starting moving out of the green phase and into yellow. All the work “getting it there” was necessary but it was still going to ripen in its time. I found myself with a silly grin as I read your account, having nurtured my green business all this time, wondering when it was going to change over…and finally, like you, starting to see some wonderful ripeness!

      Reply
    2. Roger Gauthier
      Roger Gauthier says:

      How true Gail. What a great insight to life. I actually went to that store as well. But we had no banana’s At least not then. Interesting thing is that when they turn yellow you don’t have much time to eat them which I guess means while you are waiting for them to turn green you best be preparing so when they are yellow you can get to them quick. Translation… Get ready for your success because when it comes it will happen fast and you want to be ready so you don’t spoil!

      Thanks for the great read, I actually felt like I was on the boat with you.

      Roger G AKA In-Flight Motivator
      CEO, TriVisionGlobal
      http://www.trivisionglobal.com

      Reply
    3. JuletteMillien
      JuletteMillien says:

      Hi Gail – I was drawn to this post because I LOVE green bananas – (I know not the most profound reason!) I lived in Jamaica for many years (born in Trinidad) so green bananas was a staple of my diet. Still eat them here in Jersey! 🙂

      But what a pleasant surprise to hear you use them in a such a creative and powerful way. We call fruits that are picked prematurely “force ripe” fruits. Force ripe fruits are never as juicy, sweet or even as healthy as the ones that ripen naturally. Like ideas huh? I love that. How ineffective would a force ripe idea or undertaking be if implemented before its time. So true. Or even if we permit our glorious ideas to remain on the shelf….

      It’s about patience and conceding to the biblical truth of there being a time for everything in life. Anything that’s force ripe is just not in harmony with the universe.

      I thoroughly enjoyed this post and intend to read more! Thank you so much.

      Reply
    4. Linda Smith
      Linda Smith says:

      All right, that is pretty fascinating. I set out my world wide web search for bananas mainly because I wanted to uncover a great recipe for banana pie. Some how I came across your website. I am incredibly glad I took the time to read your page. Fascinating how the web can move you around and assist you to learn so effortlessly. Thanks for the good insight.

      Reply
      • Gail
        Gail says:

        Linda, I love your note! Thanks for posting it. Isn’t it fun to see the windy path we take to get to where we want to be. Ah, there’s another blog in this comment too. 🙂

        Thanks again for sharing. I too am glad you found us while looking for banana recipes!

        Hugs,

        Gail

        Reply

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