Ruby Red Slippers


Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

The first time I saw a live pomegranate fruit on a tree was at @full_belly_farm for their annual #harvestfestival, in 2012. That was my first year living in California (from the Great Plains & Chicago), and seeing that pomegranate was a total confirmation of the magic and exoticism I felt for the West, at the time. This was like Oz, to me: a mythical place to which I had traveled on a yellow brick road... perhaps with these pomegranate blossoms adorning my ruby red slippers, all along.

One element I love about the Wizard of Oz story is that Dorothy, the heroine, has her magical shoes on her all along the journey, and she later discovers their full power. This is symbolic of how we each have what we are already seeking; that is why we seek it. The pomegranate fruit is that for me, in so many ways. It’s one of the most richly storied fruit trees, featuring heavily both in Ancient Greek and golden age Islamic art and writing... as well as having special associations with the storied city of Istanbul, which I just got to see on @netflixchefstable last night, with Ciya and its amazing approach to foodways preservation and honoring regional cuisines.

Those same ruby slippers are with me that I left my sweet home Chicago with, and I still have them today as I take the next bend on my yellow brick road. More soon...

Liz PearComment