She Taught Me to Eat Artichokes—The Discovery of the Heart of Friendship

(Sta-Kris, Inc.)
With Illustrator Paul Micich

she taught me to eat artichokesA timeless story of the new neighbor, a stranger to all of us. At first, you couldn’t tell much of anything about her.

 

That’s how it is with people sometimes. They nod. They say hello. They laugh—politely. And most keep a cautious distance.

 

Sharing over the backyard fence—at a July 4th barbecue—Christmas caroling of an evening—celebrating high school graduations. Slowly peeling away the layers until the night the neighbor taught us to eat artichokes at her dinner party.

 

“The closer you come to the base of the crown, the more delicious and plentiful is the meat,” she said. “Once you’ve peeled off all the petals, you’ll reach the heart of the artichoke, the gift of the plant.”

 

And what of us? Don’t we, too, peel our layers off, one by one?

 

Slowly, patiently, making time, taking time. Until acquaintanceships meld into the tender treasure that is friendship.

 

That night of her party, in the glow of candlelight and in a warmth that can only be felt among friends, each of us reached the heart of the artichoke.

 

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Soft. Quiet. Meaningful words that touch your very spirit. An everyday story of caution yielding to caring, of friendship growing to full bloom.

The simple tale shows us how to love, revealed one precious petal at a time, until finally we uncover the rare and tender richness of the heart.