Colours, Sour Faces and Force Ripe

“The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.” – Galileo Galilei

It’s been a few mornings now that I’ve been wanting to write about how colour affects me, or lack there of.  But every time I start to write about it, something else pops into my head.  This morning is no different.

I had most of my post already planned out in my head, and it was just a matter of transferring it over onto the screen.  As I was getting my breakfast ready, I was looking at the different colour of fruit – red plum, yellow-red peach, orange apricot, red raspberries, green kiwi, and how beautiful they looked cut up into a bowl and topped with sour cream.  The vibrant colours made me so happy, especially when my brain is trying to wake up.

And I absolutely love how the colours blend in my dark green coffee mug.  How the instant decaf melts into the clear water (I’m über sensitive to caffeine), and when I add a splash of milk, the brown liquid makes the most interesting designs.

But this morning I’m not going to write about colours (actually, I think I did a bit).  I’m going to tell you my take on unripe fruit.  While I was prepping my breakfast this morning, I couldn’t wait to dive into it.  Since posting about sugar content and it’s effect on the body, I’ve really been careful about what I eat.  So the mornings have switched from a Nutella sandwich to healthy fruit, followed by a slice of bread with almond butter.  I was a bit disappointed when the plum turned out to be a black plum instead of a red plum, which is my favorite, but I was still ok with it.  I had the peaches, apricot and raspberries to make up for it.

Then I sat myself down at the computer desk, and started eating.  I took a nice spoonful of this stuff into my mouth and nearly screamed and spit the stuff out to across the room.  A lot of the fruit wasn’t ripe, even though they appeared to be!  The peach and apricot were hard and sour, and the raspberries were bitter.  What a disappointment!

And of course, I wouldn’t be Smartie if I didn’t associate this experience to other things, and of course, I did.  I thought about the time when many, many years ago a good friend of mine would call me “Force Ripe” when I would try to force myself to do something which I couldn’t, and also when I clearly wasn’t ready to.  How many times do we do this? Especially to our kids?  On the outside, or maybe in our heads, we look like we’re ready, or we want to believe we are, but instead of the experience turning out sweet and enjoyable, it turns out to be a bitter and hard experience.  We don’t enjoy it.

For example, something as simple as taking a kid onto a roller coaster ride.  They look like they are old enough, intellectually they are, but emotionally – they just may not be there just yet.  The kid doesn’t know any different, but when we take them on, they cry the entire time.  When they get off that ride, they vow to never go on it again, or any other ride for that matter.

Another example is we try cram a bunch of tasks all into one day, knowing very well that it will be difficult, if not impossible. When things don’t go the way we planned, we get pissed.

So in the end, just like the fruit, we have a “Forced Ripe” situation with both the kid and the roller coaster.  Why not just let nature take its course and tell us when we are ripe enough to be sweet and juicy, instead of picking us early, way before we’re ready, and hoping that we aren’t bitter in the end? As we can see from Galileo quote, with just a bit of time, sweet things will come.


2 thoughts on “Colours, Sour Faces and Force Ripe

  1. Very true. With my first baby everyone kept trying to make him roll over, make him crawl, force him to walk. Needless to say, he didn’t appreciate it and he did everything when he was ready and did it all with a great big, proud smile on his face. With the second one, everyone has relaxed and doesn’t try to force anything, we just take great pleasure in enjoying his accomplishments with him. Oh, I totally relate to your experience with the fruit – never peel an entire orange anymore unless I taste it first to make sure it is good.


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