My garden continues to gift me with metaphors and this week the vines have taken over. Squash
and pumpkin vines have run amuk around and over the top of the fence so that I can't even get in to weed
or reach my tomatoes without bruising or breaking these vines. However, the pumpkins are hanging in the
sunshine, and the squash blossoms are gorgeous.
Sometimes when there is a lot going on in my life, such a s now, with family transitions, caring and arranging for my
parents-in-law, and health issues; as a huge hearted caregiver my tendency is to want to pull out all of the weeds, make sure that everything is watered, that there aren't any predatory insects or animals, and that there is plenty of
sunshine for all of those involved.
When I couldn't get in to my garden today I felt a sense of relief. I sat down on the bench, put my face in the sun,
and just sat. I sat and sat. It's a reminder to tend to my own soul and my own heart, and know that the nature of
things bloom in their own time, and in their own way, sometimes best left undisturbed.
I love this line by Joseph Campbell, "Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life
seems most challenging."
Sometimes the opportunity is not what it would appear to be. It's not to be stronger by doing more or being different,
the opportunity might be to sit back and let nature take its course, to let the pumpkins bloom in the sunshine,
and allow myself to enjoy the sunshine as well.
My oldest daughter Lucy snapped this picture of me the other night. This is a basket of kale I was delivering to my neighbor who loves it. Bless her.
I am grateful to have a community garden right across the street from our house. As some of you know from previous posts, I have a few raised beds that my friend built for me, and this has been my first
year growing vegetables. I have an abundance of tomatoes, squash, and kale. I don't really like it, I try, I really do. I know I am supposed to- put it in a smoothie, make a kale caesar salad, braised with garlic, roasted chips...I even tried massaging it like they do at Esalen in Big Sur, (really they do), to no avail. I just don't like it.
In our culture there are so many shifting 'shoulds' about nutrition and food- what to eat/what not to eat. I try not to let myself be swayed by the changing tides of the latest research and the media; one day it's be a vegan, the next it's eat cows that eat grass and put butter in your coffee.
Walking in to Whole Foods makes me feel like I am somehow being a healthy person (except being financially
responsible by spending so much). It smells earthy, the word organic is everywhere, and it FEELS good.
Bill Maher does a riff on Whole Foods though, and I have to agree-there is a ton of junky food in every isle, might be
packaged to look like it's not junk, but watch out.
The question I keep asking is, why are we so crazy about food and nutrition in this country? I know, this is a bit redundant. We are americans, we exercise, we do, do, do, go, go, go, and we are stressed out and blast toxic gasses
into the environment and, you get it. In other cultures, other countries, food and eating meals isn't so confusing. Individuals and families and tribes sit together, prepare and take meals together, and get on with their lives.
Hippocrates said, "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food." Grist for the mill.
Let me know what you think.
...and, do you have a favorite kale recipe? If you do, send it to me, maybe I'll become a kale convert-
'cause I've go a lot of it!
Have you ever been to one of those dinner parties where you go around the table and everyone has to tell who they would like to meet- like an
author- dead or alive, or a famous person, etc?
I am always both drawn in, and have an aversion to this activity.
I don't want to disrupt the energies of the universe; I have too many memories of watching Michael J. Fox in "Back to the Future" where
it all went very badly when he traveled in time.
My time traveling fantasy is that I could be a voyeuer, and to gently peek
in to the past and future lives of the people that mean the most to me.
I would love to see my husband when he was 3, playing in the yard, my daughters when they're my age, my mom when she was in college, and
my ancestors breaking bread together in the old country.
As I began to think about writing this blog post, I asked Stuart, my husband, how he would time travel. He has big huge sci-fi interplanetary and traveling to new galaxy images in his head. In gendered terms this
is not such a surprise, and in terms of our marriage, not surprising either.
In this case, though, our archetypical selves came out to play. Stuart, the hero, can imagine himself going "to infinity
and beyond" ala Buzz Lightyear, and my "caregiver" self, wants to check in on my peeps, both backwards and forwards in time. However, where we meet, is that we both LOVE the idea of time travel and we are both archetypical
I was at a party over the holiday weekend and all of the women were sitting in one room, all of them men out on the
porch, all of the little girls wearing dress up clothes, and all of the boys making guns out of whatever they could find.
What I gleaned from sitting with the women at the party, and my thoughts on time travel, and linking the two together, is that I am inextricably wired to be in relationship, to create spaces with other women so that we can share
our experiences together.
How about you?