A modern day fable...
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” ― Dita Von Teese
That is one of my favorite quotes and one that I must call on, pretty often. I love peaches! I mean, a sweet, ripe, juicy peach, dripping down my chin, is something I consider to be one of life’s greatest pleasures. To illustrate this point, I recently shared the upcoming anecdote with my Dad:
My paternal grandparents were farmers in Deming, New Mexico. I don’t know if you’ve been there but there’s not (to borrow an old-fashioned phrase) a “lot to write home about” in Deming, New Mexico. It’s a sleepy little semi-border town, without a hill in sight, that’s mostly made up of agriculture, immigrants, excessive WIND, DIRT, and WEEDS, and in recent years, a somewhat oppressive amount of armed Border Patrol and Homeland Security.
But when we were growing up, that farm was our family’s favorite place in the world. Not only because it was where we got to see our incredibly loving and generous grandparents and a dozen-or-so cousins, but because we kids, could truly run amuck there. A gaggle of grand-kids flew out the kitchen door, letting the screen slam behind us, in our “everday” clothes (aka NOT church clothes) and could basically do what we wanted within the give or take 20 acres that was “the farm”.
There were moss-filled irrigation tanks and ditches to swim in (or at least dangle your feet in) an ever-changing variety of animals -from cows and horses to pigs, chickens (A NAUSEATING AMOUNT OF CHICKENS), dogs, bullfrogs, snakes, etc., stacks of hay, mounds of grain, tractors, garages full of greasy tools and implements, a walk-in freezer, a jerky room (so New Mexico, right?) an old fashioned tiny coke bottle machine, and on and on… It was simply heaven on Earth for kids.
Unbeknownst to most of the other grand-kids, because they just weren’t paying attention, there was ONE peach tree. Back behind the house, down the road, past the tank, take a right and behind what eventually became the chile fields, it stood alone. There were mesquite-like ugly bush trees along the road too but that peach tree was an ONLY. And from the time that I was very young, I kept my eye on it.
In all that time…we’re talking about 10-15 years…I saw it produce only ONE really outstanding peach. There may have been others along the way that somehow slipped my purview but that summer, that tree put everything it had into that one peach! And the day that it finally looked ready and I somehow managed to get out there by myself and knock that peach loose with a really long branch, was pure magic. I held the softball sized fruit in my tween-aged hands, smelled it with a full nose-touching-fuzz inhale and without a second of hesitation, bit into it, juice spewing all over my face. And, I proceeded to stand right there, in the middle of that dirt road on that miserably hot day and devour every juicy, sticky bite.
As I told my Dad this story, he belly laughed. (We often spend the majority of our time together laughing and I’m so grateful for that.) But this day, we laughed because he too had been watching that peach. He said several of the adults “in the house” were privy to it too it and were all bummed that it had suddenly disappeared. There’d even been talk of stretching it far enough to make fresh peach ice cream. While that would have been nice; I have no regrets.
About now, you may be wondering why I’m telling you this story? It’s cute and all but what does it have to do with our store? Well, I digress back to that quote at the top. And forgive me if I’ve said this before, but there are days in retail, and in life, when people just aren’t pickin’ up what you’re puttin’ down. There are in fact, WEEKS like that. Sometimes, for whatever reason, the people who walk through your door are thoroughly UN-impressed with what you do and don’t mind saying so (usually under their breath but simultaneously loud enough for you to hear).
I try very hard not to focus on these people but to focus on those that are so kind. So here is the gist of my tale:
I have a few art prints for sale and one in my home, by an amazing Southwest-inspired artist, Dolan Geiman. I really love his work and am proud to have it in our store. A couple days ago, a customer tagged him on Instagram, showing off a huge piece of art that they’d purchased on his website. “Huh”… I thought, reading the post, “I wish they’d bought that through me…” A little while later, they added to their post, tagging us, saying that they felt so lucky that they’d discovered Dolan at our store. “Oh, that’s nice”, I thought. And, I let any disappointment of a lost sale GO.
Today, out of the blue, the lovely Davina, from Dolan Geiman, called me to say she too had noticed that the customer had discovered Dolan’s work through our shop and wanted to credit us for the sale. It was not only COMPLETELY unexpected but just SO. INCREDIBLY. KIND.
Moral of the story: One of the best things about doing what we do is the multitude of kind people we meet. And, it’s important to focus on that. We should all try to pay it forward. Practice random acts of kindness. BE THE RIPEST, JUCIEST PEACH. No matter whether people like peaches or not.