The years go on by, but some things do not change. And so it is with onions, and me, that is, for me and onions.
Surely I liked onions from an early age as I’m pretty sure they played some part in the favorite food of my childhood; spaghetti and meat sauce. But I doubt I was aware of them, as such, until I was seven. I did not know them until an event of great importance took place in Second Grade. We had an in-class play. The play was Stone Soup. You know the story, where a stone makes a wonderful soup for a hungry village, just with a little help of a small contribution from everyone; a bit of cabbage, some garlic, a carrot, some salted beef, and so on.
I was assigned the onion.
I don’t know why it played out like this, but I had an onion in my desk at school for weeks and weeks in the run up to that play, and in its aftermath, as the soup we made was, alas, only fictional. Having this onion around to smell and look at was wonderful. I felt an immediate affection for the onion that has never faded. Now I bring onions to work with me. I have a little drawer in the kitchen that I long ago took over for my own. I always keep a couple onions in there. Most days I eat one.
Perhaps you think it not quite right to eat one’s friends.
The would be true if you were friends with cats, or books, or people. But I have come to visit you today to let you know that if you are friends with onions, it’s okay.