The Guacamole Tree

By Lauren Gustafson

A couple Sundays ago I was standing in the kitchen with Erin and Celal. Erin and I were making guacamole while Celal made nachos. I cut the avocado in half and scoop it out into a bowl, it would be easy if it weren’t for those pesky pits. I tapped it with my knife and it popped out but it was stuck. No amount of pulling or slamming could get it off and so I handed the knife to Celal who did get the pit off but it ricocheted and landed back behind a counter, unreachable. We laugh and I say “well now we’ll have a guacamole tree.”

We’re all looking forward, to the end of the program and what’s coming next. As the days continue to pass there are fewer days to spend together in community. I’m feeling the crunch of time and the question of what next because in reality, I don’t have a plan past August. We’ve been making plans to celebrate our time together and to squeeze in the last few fun events and trying to do as much as possible while staying present.

Being present is difficult and it’s hard because we all have so much to look forward to that being here where everything seems to be the same is hard. Relationships are evolving, we’re getting closer or drawing away. Sometimes our exhaustion gets the better of us. And sometimes the “real world” calls stronger than our world. It’s a hard conundrum to battle. Realizing that I’ve made a life for myself that’ll dissolve in less than five weeks is a hard thing to wrap my head around. Coming into this program, I didn’t realize how much this community would mean to me and how much I’ll miss it when we’re gone.

As I struggle to figure out what comes next for me and as we prepare to go our separate ways we still have moments together, laughing in the kitchen and waiting for the guacamole tree to grow.

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