I’d been in a funk for days. A whole lot of life circumstances had conspired to form a perfect storm that ushered in a seriously foul mood in me. To top it off, the weather seemed determined to contribute to the cause, as cold rain had descended to hover over us as gray and dismal as my temperament seemed to.
As much as I wanted to get over it, I couldn't escape the shackles of my unpleasant mood.
Then my kind friend Aggie showed up on my doorstep, surprising me with a dozen eggs. And with little more than that humble gesture, suddenly I felt much better.
Right about now you’re wondering how weird I must be that I would be cheered up by eggs. But these weren’t just any old eggs: these were fresh from her henhouse. Coveted eggs with bright orange yolks as cheerful as a May morning. Eggs that aren’t quite so easy to come by in this day and age. The fact that my friend wanted to share her limited supply of her treasured eggs was such an act of impromptu kindness, it couldn’t not brighten my mood.
And it reminded me that we all ought to try to remain better connected with one another, because ultimately it is those bonds with our friends and family that help to elevate us when we're feeling most down.
Sometimes in this world of disconnect it’s hard to personalize one’s sentiments. We’re so busy zapping out emails and staccato’d text-messages and scurrying to and fro, we never find the time for conversation. As much as I enjoy catching up with friends on the phone, for instance, I rarely have the time to talk when it’s convenient to me. So instead? I communicate electronically, until I can find the time to squeeze in a chat with someone. And I don’t think I’m alone in this--it seems to be the norm. Yet somehow that email or e-card just doesn’t have the same grand delivery as does a simple thoughtful deed. Like Aggie's.
You know the crazy thing is I don’t particularly even like eggs, although my family sure does. But I do greatly appreciate the sentiment behind fresh eggs, and as a cook and avid supporter of buying locally, I know that fresh, local eggs are vastly better than store-bought. I actually find it extremely gratifying to crack into an egg and see that brilliant yellow-orange yolk: it means something to me. So in Aggie's message was much more than an egg, it was sharing of something relevant, something to be savored.
There is a tradition in the Cajun French culture of lagniappe: something for nothing. For instance, throwing in a thirteenth donut when you get a dozen. A little extra something. It makes imminent sense how that little something can ultimately mean so much.
With Easter time upon us, I could go all deep and exploratory and ponder the symbolism of eggs, the poster child for renewal, being that which lifted me up from my bleak mindset. Or I could just tell you I was one of those children perfectly content to play with the ribbon, rather than the expensive toy beneath the ribbon. Either which way, there is something so very right about that gift: the sweet simplicity of the thought behind it. From one friend to another: "Have some eggs." And to be reminded that someone cares.
Jenny Gardiner is the author of the award-winning novel Sleeping with Ward Cleaver and the upcoming humorous memoir Parrothood: Twenty Years of Caring for a Vengeful Bird Determined to Kill Me.(Simon Spotlight, Spring, 2010)