This is How to Say Goodbye
This morning, the breakfast orange slices somehow had me recalling the rhubarb patch that grew in the field beyond our childhood backyard. Is rhurbarb a fruit or vegetable? I don't know but I'm not going to open my phone to search for the answer. Sometimes, there's more magic in not knowing. Nothing good happens when you know too much about the world. But I can tell you what I do know for sure: rhubarb is sacred. I learned so from my grandmother. She once made a rhubarb dish whose unwritten recipe had been passed down for many generations. It resembled ice cream. But it tasted sour, siphoned all the water from my mouth, and had me sneezing for some reason. I was ashamed and felt like an incompetent Indian. I worried that I'd offended my grandmother and a millennia of rhubarb. But she just smiled and grilled me a good sandwich with fresh bread, government cheese, butter glaze, patience, and forgiveness. It was then that I first understood that some of the old traditions were never destined to become the new way of being.