Onions were a luxury on my $20 a week budget. Those were days of chicken necks, flour and tea. A younger, thinner me would saute an errant onion gleaned from the late-night flea market in whatever I could, and melt in the fragrance. A carrot, a potato. More water, rice, a soup. I was hungry then. Onions make me hungry, even today.
Later gardens yielded onions. Yellow, round, sweet; I cried for my youth while frying onions, carelessly cut in the pan. 2 AM onions, fried in cheap butter and cheap wine. Me, exhausted, my baby girl asleep in her bed. I mourned my lost marriage in onion and wine tears.
Today, I fried onions. Deep in fresh butter, pulled whole from my garden in the fall, waiting through the winter for tonight's dinner. Still carelessly cut, but partnered with foraged mushrooms and field-raised chicken. I feed my new husband. My daughter is strong and full grown. I no longer cry. I share my sweet onions with my friends.