Abu Said lived a long life.
During the early part of his life, he followed the path of the ascetic, dwelling in the desert where he fasted, eating only bitter roots and thornbushes to stay alive.
In later years, he lived in the city, where he enjoyed melon balls and other fruits dipped in sugar.
Someone once asked him, "Which tastes better: the roots and thorns, or the melons and fruits?"
"If you are with God," replied Abu Said, "the roots and thorns are sweeter than melons, but if you are apart from God, even the sugared fruits taste bitter."
Inspired by: Under the Sufi's Cloak: Stories of Abu Said and His Mystical Teaching by Mohammad Ali Jamnia and Mojdeh Bayat
Notes: This story is on p. 19 of the book. You can find out more about Abu Said at Wikipedia.