Look Inside

You Are Like a Fig

Close-up of one ripe fig and three green ones surrounded by leaves on a fig tree
Figs ripening at Evergreen. Photo by author.

Fig season recently ended at our place, Evergreen. Figs from the trees that have borne fruit for twenty-five years were augmented this year by the first fruits of two trees we imported from France three years ago. It was an unusually short season because of a mild summer and early rains but we still managed to satisfy our senses with this ancient fruit.


I made fig jam, and ate fresh figs every morning for several weeks. I’ll tell you a secret: the best figs to eat fresh are those that, when you pick them up and put them in the palm of your hand, weigh more than you would expect them to from their size. In other words, small and heavy ones are the best, the sweetest, the most figish (if there is such a word!).


I sit at the kitchen table and pick up a small, heavy, plump, purplish fig. It is smooth, with an almost imperceptible fuzz on the skin. With a sharp knife I cut into the fruit, and once again I’m filled with wonder at what has been happening inside it, in the dark.


A cut fig, showing hundreds of red seeds within.
The complexity of the inside of a fig teaches us something about ourselves. Photo by author.

The average fig contains several hundred seeds. The beauty and simplicity of the outside of the fruit belies the complexity and immense creativity of the inside.


You and I are like figs.


Like a fig, we have an outer covering of clothing, selected to protect us and enhance our appearance. We groom our hair and eyebrows, lift weights, smother our skin with expensive creams, trim our toenails and whiten our teeth. Then we peep in the pewter-framed mirror and smile smugly. Most of our focus is just on the outside.


But the beauty and simplicity of our outward appearance belies the complexity and immense creativity of our inside.


Like a fig, we are packed full of seeds of potential that are far more impressive than our outer covering.


This week, every time you peep into the mirror, make a point of peeping inside yourself, too. Acknowledge what is within – the more substantial part, you might say.


Figuratively cut yourself open, and see what has been happening inside, in the dark, while you experience life.


Sense your heart, your lungs, your muscles, and veins.


Go a step further and sense invisible ingredients like space and silence that are there, in and around every cell of your body. Then sense the invisible waves of universal consciousness swirling around and through you, a never-ending stream of connection between you and everything else.


Today, experience all of your life – not just the outside.


With love, Marlane






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