The Traveling Onion: We Are Where We Are Supposed To Be (Now)

here and now

We are exactly where we are supposed to be.

I heard today.

But how many of us struggle to believe such statement? We strive for what we don’t have yet, a more ambitious goal, a better job, a bigger house…more, bigger, better, ad infinitum.

When I didn’t have a book deal, I thought that was the reason why I felt frustrated, a failure. When I got the book deal, I was barely aware of it; I wished I had a better one. When I was looking for an agent, I thought that was the reason why I wasn’t writing, why only a few people read me, why I felt frustrated, a failure. When I signed with my agent, my ego tricked me into thinking that the deal wasn’t real, that she wouldn’t do anything for me anyway, that she was only doing me a favor. I followed the same line of thinking for years, with relationships, money, goals I had to achieve, things I had to have, the perfect weight. I was never there, yet.

During this past year of work on myself, however, I began to follow another philosophy of life: I constantly remind myself that I am standing exactly on what I strive for. But so busy wanting more, or desiring better, I struggle to be aware of were I actually am. Now is the only place in time and space that really matters. I have to practice hundreds of time every day; my ego likes to talk a lot.

But this is a blog about food, right? Well, earlier this morning I stumbled upon this reading:

The Traveling Onion

It is believed that the onion originally came from India. In Egypt it was an object of worship  — why I haven’t been able to find out. From Egypt the onion entered Greece and on to Italy, thence into all over Europe.

Better Living Cookbook

When I think how far the onion has traveled

just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise

all small forgotten miracles,

crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,

pearly layers in smooth agreement,

the way the knife enters onion

and onion falls apart on the chopping block,

a history reveled.

And I would never scold the onion

for causing tears.

It is right that tears fall

for something small and forgotten.

How at meal, we sit to eat,

commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma

but never on the translucence of onion,

now lip, now divided,

or its traditionally honorable career:

For the sake of others,


Naomi Shihab Nye

Happy Sunday,


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