How Did I Get So Lucky?
Last week, I laughingly said to my husband and my son, ” Next week I’m celebrating every day!” You see, March 8 is my birthday and I had just seen a meme that said something like, “It’s my Birthday. Let the week of Lunches, Gifts, and Parties Begin!” So I shared that as a joke.
Well, they took that seriously. Even before “my week” began, on Saturday, my husband gave me a lovely bouquet of yellow roses with a beautiful green and yellow ribbon tied around the whole.
On Sunday, he took me out to lunch. (I got a mild case of food poisoning, but we’re not counting that as a gift.)
On Monday, he brought me a chai latte, which he knows I love, and only allow myself once or twice a month.
Today, Tuesday, I received a beautiful present in the mail from a good friend. This present is special because it’s a necklace with a pomegranate pendant. My friend knows that pomegranates figure metaphorically in my first novel, Eve’s Garden, pomegranates having been likely, some scholars say, to have been featured in the Garden of Eden. Perhaps the apple was really the lovely purple-red fruit that produces abundant seeds––a pomegranate–– which grew freely in ancient Persia––present-day Iran––but which may not have been as widely known in early Christian-era Europe, where Christianity took deep hold. Persia, these scholars, say, is a likely location for the home of Adam and Eve, using Biblical references. Whether it is the fruit of that spiritual location or not, the pomegranate is an apt metaphor for the fertility of women, which is a foundational concept for the book.
That my friend knew, and referenced this fruit in her present to me, means a great deal to me. Truly, most of my interactions with readers of my novel have focused on specific scenes–that deadly childbirth scene, which it almost killed me to write, and pained them to read–or perhaps the scene of the girls dancing joyfully by the river. Or the final scene of Eve discovering the fruits of her grandmother’s garden. And it is always a delight to talk about my book with people who have thoughtfully read it. But when people go one layer deeper, to the metaphorical structure that grounds the novel, as my friend did in choosing my present, that moves me deeply. It lets me know they have understood the theme and the heart of the work, what I labored on most arduously.
Have you ever told a writer you understood the heart of her work? Let me know in the comments. And, please, give yourself a lovely week.
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