A short trip to the grocery store in order to stock up for the coming snowpocalypse (okay, I jest) and I saw a bag of candy I couldn’t resist. Not because I love the stuff so much that I had to have it, but because of the memories it evoked (and maybe the lure of fodder for a blog post was too great).
Brach’s ribbon and hard candy has been a part of my memory for what seems like an eternity. Again, not because I love the stuff, but because it was Dad’s candy. Whenever I visited him in his office, Dad would reach down into the lower drawer on the left side of his desk and take out a tin, open the lid, and allow me to choose a piece of candy. Over the years, I learned which pieces I didn’t like and which I loved, but I was never allowed to dig through and touch every piece. I had to take what was on top. If the level was low, we might shake it a little to bring something up that I liked, but otherwise, I took what was available. And you know what? I enjoyed it because it was Dad’s gift to me.
This same candy tin came out whenever there were kids in his office and sometimes even for adults … if they were very, very good.
There were a few things I learned because of this candy. First, the act of giving and receiving was more important than the actual gift. Those few moments with Dad when we shared a bit of hard candy were precious. Secondly, greed is unnecessary behavior. I received one piece of candy. That’s all I needed and Dad taught me to ensure that there was always plenty for others. Thirdly, I learned to be satisfied with what I had. I might not love every flavor of this candy. In fact, as I look at the bag in front of me today, I realize that I like the cinnamon bars, and nothing else. But, it was what I had and it was enough.
In a life where we live for excess and choices and believe the world revolves around us individually, it’s a good reminder for me to open a bag of candy and remember that simplicity, generosity, and a few limitations aren’t necessarily a bad way to live. Dad’s lessons still resonate. And over the next few months, I will slowly go through this bag, savoring even the flavors that aren’t my favorite because with them come memories that can’t be replaced by anything else.