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Popcorn


I do not know, nor do I even remember, my first experience with popcorn. But growing up, I remember we used to roast grains of corn and chew them with either peanuts or coconut. It was more like a snack for the many people that I knew. The strange thing that I remember is, that while roasting grains of corn, some of them would burst open like a blossoming spring flower, displaying an inner white and softer side of corn. Just like popcorn.

Interestingly, each person - adult and kids alike - preferred this soft part. I can understand that the soft part is easy on the teeth and that probably was why everyone preferred that part. What surprised me the most was the fact that, of all the grains of corn in a frying pan or pot, only a few would burst open, creating popcorn. Why is that? How come only some burst open and some stayed just the way they are?

The last time I had popcorn was a few weeks ago when I saw Black Panther at the movie theater. I got myself a big bowl of popcorn and a soda. There were a few things that I could get to add some flavor to my big bowl of popcorn, but I didn’t ask for any. I just had the plain old popcorn - white, soft, and easy on the teeth.

I must admit that since the beginning of the year, I have thought about the best that is in me and the best that is in you. I have thought about whether I can be a grain of corn that can burst open like popcorn, revealing nothing but a plain old me. I have also thought about you, and whether you can also be a grain of corn that can burst open like popcorn, just so all that can be revealed is the plain old you.

The benefit is to see and experience each for who they truly are - without any flavors.

Just like the popcorn at the movie theater, or when we choose to make our popcorn at home, we can add some flavors to enhance the taste. I don’t particularly see anything wrong with it, but if we want to taste pure, authentic popcorn, or if we want others to taste the kind of people that we have been created to be, we may not need any flavors. The truth is, when you love what you have, you have everything you need and may not need any flavor to enhance what you already have. I believe you are a grain of corn that is ready to explode into a popcorn - the best in you, ready to shine forth.

There’s a verse in a poem called On This Day The First Of Days that reads thus:

Maker, who didst fashion me

image of thyself to be,

fill me with thy love divine,

let my every thought be thine


This verse reminds me of whom it is that created the grain of corn that is you and I. It points me to the hope that is possible in you and me because that grain of corn can burst open. It tells me of our collective emptiness and expresses the desire to be filled with a love that is divine. It is this one love that assures us of all that we need. Lastly, it tells of our endless plea, that every thought that is possible in you and I not only be in sync with the divine will of God or mirror God’s thought, but be as open as popcorn.


Whenever you get a bowl of popcorn, may you look at the different sizes and shapes of the popcorn and reflect, not only on how open you can be, but how the best in you can burst open like popcorn.


Manny

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