When I was a kid, I used to watch Little House on the Prairie reruns all the time. It was one of my favorite shows, and I can remember watching it with my childhood best friend all the time. There are a few episodes which stand out in my mind very clearly: when Mr. Edwards came to the house for Christmas, when Ma had to cauterize a wound for some reason, of course Mary going blind, when Almonzo and Laura finally got together, and when Nellie gave out an orange as a favor for her birthday party.
When you’re a kid growing up in middle class 1980’s America, the idea that an orange is a wonder is completely foreign. It wasn’t explained in the show why this was a big deal, so I decided to find out as much about it as I could. I had no google or even Ask Jeeves- this was pre-internet. I looked things up, I asked people. My librarian spoke to me and found things for me to read explaining that oranges came from really far away from Montana and that most kids at that time would never even see an orange or, if they did, it would be on Christmas Day. It helped my little brain at the time see things as more precious than I had thought of them previously. If an orange could be so valuable, maybe I needed to look at life differently. It helped me to see the value in what I consider small and everyday type objects.
Fast forward to now and the trials of my past week. I had a job rejections, one that I had felt pretty sure about, too, and a pretty painful medical test. A real friend, one of those special people of the type that only comes around a few times in each life, brought me a gift to ease my frustrations last week. Among the many delicious offerings were two of these perfect little valencia oranges. They were an incredible reminder to me to appreciate what I have, to savor the simple, to be in the moment. I needed the help remembering.