Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Asparagus Lemon-Aid

It is often said that when life gives you lemons, you should use them to make lemon-aid. This is a misguiding statement because in reality you need a whole lot more than lemons to make any sort of lemon-aid worth drinking. Think about it. If life gives you oranges, you can make orange juice, all you have to do is squeeze them into a glass and you are good to go. If life were to give you apples, you could probably figure out a way to crush them into 100% apple juice pretty quickly. Sure it might get a little messy, but it would still be drinkable! If life were to give me a carrot, I would probably just eat it because I could use the extra vegetables in my diet and I really don’t know how to make carrot juice. But if life gave me lemons, it seems that all I would be able to do is make lemon juice, which if we are being honest, no one really wants to drink. All lemon juice is good for really is to be used as an ingredient in something else. I once marinated a shark stake in lemon juice and it was fantastic, but I would never want to drink straight lemon juice. No, rather for lemon-aid, added ingredients are necessary.

If life gives you lemons, you are going to need help in order to make that lemon-aid. You will have to go out and find the person to whom life has given sugar and the one to whom life has given water, and then maybe you will have some place to start and the three of you can get together and make some lemon-aid. I bet it would be pretty good too, but if you are anything like me, you won’t be satisfied with just lemon-aid. Your entire being is going to crave something more, something greater! You are going to want to go out and find the guy with the raspberries and the girl with the blueberries, and the new kid down the street who brought a bunch of strawberries with him when he moved in and invite them into the mix to see what kind of creations you can make with these new flavors. If I were the guy with the lemons, I would want to get a little experimental and see if I could convince the asparagus kid to join the party so we could try to make asparagus lemon-aid!

…yes, asparagus lemon-aid.

I know that sounds like a terrible idea, but people said that about the personal computer when it was first released and then naturally assumed that you would never need more than a 40 megabyte hard drive to store all of your information. Whether life gives us lemons, sugar, grapes, tomatoes, or asparagus we have a responsibility to use them to the best of our ability and to invite others into the process with us. This means taking risks together and potentially failing. Some things just should not be mixed, but sometimes we avoid mixing things because we are afraid that they will turn out poorly, and so what if they do? Asparagus and lemons are two things that should probably never be mixed with water and sugar to be consumed on a hot afternoon, but will we ever really know until we try? We learn the most from our failures. If we want to learn we have to be willing to fail because failure produces growth and if we are not willing to fail, then can we actually say that we were willing to try in the first place? Can we actually say that we truly desire the growth that we say we want?

I have never mixed asparagus and lemons for anything in my life, and I feel pretty confident that asparagus lemon-aid would be terrible, but who knows what potential creations the asparagus kid and the lemon man could make if they took the risk to mix two things that at first don’t seem like they belong together. Who can really know the true potential of something until they have taken the risk to try and see what might come of it.

Here is to asparagus lemon-aid. Lets see what we can make of it.

Scott E. McGhee