I believe cheese is what binds us together.
Little did I know that 2003 would bring enlightenment and possibility of cheese entering my life? Not just everyday, ordinary cheese but delicious and exciting creations with depths of flavor that burst upon your tongue and mouth. Each small piece a representation of the Cheesemaker who took milk and turned it into a wonderful palette pleasing sensation.
These cheeses are what bind together the common thread of society. As each cheese is different in taste, texture, feel, flavor, smell, consistency, sharpness and mildness they are still derived from a common element, milk. True, it may be sheep, goat, cow or buffalo but each final product began as a piece of grass or grain that was eaten and turned into milk. It’s that common beginning that brings us together to realize that each human on this planet is like a unique piece of cheese.
We are all formed by God, knowing that we are a blending of male and female, like adding enzymes to cheese to develop certain characteristics of flavor, style and body. We inherit traits from our mother and father, who passed on their traits from their mother and father and we build upon that to begin our life. Some children are raised with lots of attention, while others are given little. Some have blessing heaped upon them, while others are left to develop their own blessings through whatever comes their way. So it is with cheese, some wheels have been rubbed and smeared to give body and flavor, while others sit quietly in dark caves aging without any attention other than the occasional check for maturity. A few cheeses are blended with other cheeses to form a more diverse flavor or style, and left to develop to see where their transformation matures.
As you see we are like cheese, and it binds us together and we bind together for life. It takes time to develop cheese and to age it to maturity. Each style is unique and some take longer to age, as each child is unique and they never age at the same rate as another. Time, environment, and nurturing all play a part in who we are and what we become. Are we cheese that has been left on wooden planks to age in darkness and then given all the glory when we are brought out of darkness or are we a wheel of cheese that has been turned and rubbed with attention to bring out the flavor of life?
I believe in the power of cheese, and it’s ability to bind us together through thick and thin, giving us new tastes, textures and flavors. Take time to enjoy life and make the most of your uniqueness. Behold, the Power of Cheese!
Essay written by Scott Anderson, Assistant Director of Dining Services at Shepherd University
This essay was chosen to appear in the National "This I Believe" Website