I have a friend who knows what my answer will be when she calls and asks what I’m doing. She joins me in unison with my standard reply, “I’m wrapped in a blanket, sitting in my cuddle chair, watching TV, and eating bonbons.” Then we both giggle for she knows me well, and she translates my answer to mean, “I’m as busy as a termite in a new woodpile; I haven’t had a chance to stop all day; and I really need a cuppa tea or maybe a piece of chocolate.”
Chocolate. What is it about chocolate that we just cannot resist? My pulse quickens in December when I know I can find a box of dark chocolate covered cherries at Walgreens. I hoard the boxes from the after Christmas sales, and they hold me until late January when the Girl Scout Thin Mints arrive. Then, it’s only two weeks until Valentine’s day, and the chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs aren’t far behind. And then comes Mother’s Day.
And how is it that something so divine is made from a fermented, dried up, cleaned up, roasted little dark bean that is quite bitter until milk and sugar are added? I don’t know who dared try that for the first time, but I’m grateful for that courageous person.
It was a momentous day when the report came out that chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is actually good for me. The antioxidants can help lower my blood pressure and protect my skin from sun damage, and just think how much more good it will do if I pair the chocolate with nuts or fruit or melt it in a cup of milk. Of course, the report had nothing to say about consuming a box of chocolates meant that the next twenty two hours of my life must be spent in bowling five hours, washing dishes for seven and a half hours, after which I must climb stairs for two hours and fifteen minutes to warm up for a three and a half hour walk followed by two and a half hours of aerobics to burn off the calories. Maybe what Mama taught me about sharing was a good idea after all. I’m grateful every day for what Mama taught me about life and living, and I hear her words coming out of my mouth frequently.
My favorite philosopher, Forrest Gump, quotes his mama, too. “My mama always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’” Forrest’s mama was right. Sometimes we get our very favorite piece of chocolate, and sometimes, we don’t. Sometimes, we just have to take the bite and swallow hard, and sometimes we just want to nibble a tiny bit at the time so that the good will last longer. Regardless, there’s a little something sweet about each piece, and we can enjoy the element of surprise and hope for something better next time. And truth is — when you have a box of chocolates, there’s usually someone around to share it.
Hopefully that person sharing your chocolate will be your mother this weekend. But if sharing time with her isn’t possible, maybe you could surprise someone not so close to you who needs to feel cherished. And like my favorite philosopher would say, “That’s all I have to say about that.”