Broken Watermelon Dreams
While I was growing up, homemade and homegrown was the norm for my family. We grew most of our own food on our little farm. We ate fresh produce all summer long and the canned versions during winter months. One thing my three brothers and I appreciated about country living was having plenty of watermelons. Sometimes we enjoyed them chilled from the fridge; other times we gobbled them up straight from the garden, sweet and warm from the summer sun.
The melons we grew were smaller, round, dark green ones, often called “icebox watermelons.” Quite a bit different from the big, oblong specimens I’d seen in the stores or at roadside stands. One summer my dad surprised us by bringing home a store-bought watermelon for our fourth of July celebration. What a luxury! We couldn’t wait to cut into it.
The next day, my family grilled hamburgers for lunch, eating outside despite the stifling heat. Then we relaxed on a quilt under the maple tree in the far corner of the front yard while my oldest brother went inside to get our watermelon. We all watched as he stepped through the door, holding our striped beauty on his shoulder. And then it happened—his foot slipped and he plunged off the front porch.
The porch wasn’t very high, so my brother was fine. The watermelon wasn’t so lucky, however. Fifty years later, I still have clear memories of that summer day. Yes, I recall our disappointment at seeing the beautiful melon burst open on the ground. But even more, I remember relishing the pieces we managed to salvage. I’ve decided there’s a life lesson there: even in the midst of shattered dreams or a broken heart, we can still savor bits and pieces of our life. And we might be surprised at how much sweetness we find.
Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion, which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs, contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or connect with Dianne through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.