Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On Wealth

Last year, my father-in-law gave us a bunch of old glass-top canning jars found at a yard sale.  Since we don't have a canner, we decided to use them to store a variety of dry beans and seeds we had in our pantry.  They're now lined up in a colorful row on the shelf next to our basement stairs--white beans, red lentils, chick peas, kidney beans, brown lentils, black beans, sunflower seeds.  Every time I pass by that row of jars on the way up or down the stairs, the word that pops into my head is "wealth."

The jars themselves, with their contents, probably aren't worth more than 30 dollars.  But when I look at them, I don't just see the beans themselves: I see curried red lentil soup, chick peas in broth with crisp bread crumbs, pasta fagioli, chili, white bean stew with dumplings.  I see a dozen hearty, savory meals, right there at our fingertips.  I see the means to make it through a week-long blizzard, if we ever have to, safe and well-fed.  Those are not just seven jars of beans; those are seven jars of security.

Sometimes I think Jack in the fairy tale was perfectly sensible to trade away his old cow for a handful of beans.  What could be a better investment than that?
Post a Comment