Late last evening in a moment of pure delight I ate a tangerine. It sounds pretty simple. It even was a very simple thing. It was also… awesome.

What I actually wanted was a tall refreshing glass of orange juice, which I don’t generally keep in the house because it’s something I enjoy enough that it can easily override my limited impulse control and result in finding myself with an empty container of orange juice in my hand, and very high blood sugar – that ends up being a poor health choice. (Damn you, delicious OJ!!) Having no orange juice on hand, or any other fruit juice, and understanding that ‘a sugary beverage’ was not going to satisfy, when my eye landed on the fruit bowl and spotted the lone remaining tangerine – a medium-sized, thin-skinned, sweet seedless variety – I knew what to do about the juice craving; I would make that tangerine give up its sweet juice to me!

No juicer – not even one of the small citrus juicers so common in kitchen gadget drawers. I didn’t let lack of a ready-made tool stop me, why would it? I am a primate! Haven’t primates been eating fruits for… well, literally the entire time primates have existed? I sliced off a bit of the top with sharp knife and began gently squeezing the tangerine, pouring the juice into a glass as it ran from the fruit. I turned it in my hand to squeeze it uniformly, feeling the pulpy fruit within begin to break down from its sections. The sweet tangerine-y fragrance filled my senses and by that point I was most definitely eager to taste that sweet sweet juice. I looked at the glass, still holding the nearly flattened tangerine in my hand, which was a little sticky from contact with the fresh juice. The entire process resulted in a couple of tablespoons of tangerine juice – really fresh, actually entirely real juice. My eye traveled from the glass to my hand, and I unfolded my hand, revealing the split flattened tangerine, easily opened out to show the sectioned insides, burst, squashed, but… tangerine. Standing at the sink, without any reservations or hesitation at all, I tore into the tasty flesh, savoring the sweetness, the juiciness, the flavor of tangerine, consuming it all (except the skin) in just a minute or too of raw animal delight.

I stood there in the kitchen with a huge smile, feeling connected to my physical experience, and feeling open to how simple, meaningful, and delightful such a humble moment as eating a fruit can be… and how human. Damn that was tasty tangerine. I washed my hands, which were sticky, and wiped the sticky juice from my face (I hadn’t been especially dainty about eating that tangerine, frankly). I turned to leave the kitchen…and there on the counter that glass of juice sat waiting. Right! Juice! I felt a moment of additional delight and joy – there is still juice! I anticipated the flavor of it and it was my intention to savor it slowly… two swallows of tasty tangerine later, and it was done. It was a satisfying moment of pleasure, guiltless, childlike, animal, and without regret. I found it more pleasurable – and memorable – to take the time with it that I did, and to enjoy it fully without being distracted by any other experience.

It was just a tangerine. Just a shot of fresh fruit juice made with loving hands. It was also nourishment. It was the satisfaction of a desire. It was a sensuous pleasure. It was a moment of delight worth lingering over, and worth recalling.

We live in the world we choose to create. 🙂