When I was a child, my mother was only given ten dollars a week to purchase groceries for our family of five. She bought bread and doughnuts from the Hostess “day-old” shop and stretched her budget as best she could. We drank generic soda before they even had a name for it and ate a great deal of simple, plain fare. But if my father wanted something special, why, he got it. And he happened to like dried apricots. So, occasionally, a bag of those circular delicacies appeared in our refrigerator. We kids were warned to steer clear of them at the risk of patriarchal wrath. I took my chances one time, though, and fell in love with the darned things. They were the best food I had ever tasted: sweet, chewy, and somehow supremely exotic. But whenever I repeated this domestic crime, I was careful to never take more than two apricots, so that they wouldn’t be missed. I would close my eyes and chew each one slowly, savoring its supreme flavor. For years, I forgot about apricots. Health-food advisers told me that the sulfur dioxide was a preservative to be steered clear of, and the natural ones just didn’t taste the same. Just the other day, an ad popped up online and successfully tempted me to order a pound of preserved California dried apricots. When the package arrived, I stared hard at it. Memories of those long-lost and carefully sneaked fruits came fresh into my mind. I opened the bag and stuffed three of them into my mouth. And boy, they were just as delicious as I remembered them.

Richard Maddox

Richard Dietrich Maddox's writing focuses on the search for permanent happiness, the goal of finding paradise on earth, the attainment of human Enlightenment. His work, though fiction, attempts to convey the profound spiritual Truth passed on to humanity by Enlightened Masters. Maddox approaches spiritual wisdom from a Western level of experience, presenting characters to whom readers can easily relate, offering situations in which readers might well have found themselves. His work offers, in a style which those living in the West will find understandable, the possibility of blissful existence.

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