The cucumber slice stares back at me,
starburst mandala of seeds and flesh.
I fork it slowly into my mouth,
aware of arm, muscle, movement,
the glint of sunlight on the fruit,
then its coolness in my mouth.
How many cucumbers have I eaten in my life?
I think of cucumber and tomato salads
with red onions and feta cheese,
of cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches
eaten on creekside summer picnics
with my wife and children and friends,
of countless salads
punctuated by cucumber chunks.
How little respect I’ve shown this humble food.
How rarely I’ve seen what it really is,
this smooth green tube of encased coolness:
my body, my arm lifting the fork,
my heart loving this life, that very love.
Bob Speer, True Silent Voice, lives in Chico, California and practices with the Slowly Ripening Sangha. He was ordained into the Order of Interbeing during the winter retreat.