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!