Early this morning my daughter picks a cucumber from our garden. It is shaped exactly like a “C.” The wonder of this! A vegetable shaped like its first letter! She holds it up and shows me, eyes wide. Would our eggplant come out like an “E” or the pepper in a big, plump “P”? It is fun to think of it until we realize that it’s entirely normal for cucumbers to turn into long “C” shapes. The youngest knows this already, and my gardener husband confirms the truth.
There was no magic in the garden.
No zucchini coming in “Z” shapes or squash in long yellow “S’s.” No enchanted alphabet vegetables.
The disillusionment lasts only a millisecond. My daughter, still in pajamas, decides to pick the basil for pesto. Then she turns around and whispers: “I’m picking some parsley for us too. It’s the secret ingredient.”
Her eyes sparkle to think of the secret ingredient from the garden.
The wonder returns. Tonight we are having enchanted pasta with pesto.
Living with flair is finding a secret ingredient when you’ve reasoned the wonder away.