And so the day ends with a few small kitchen chores…drying a few dishes, wiping the crumbs from the cabinet space near the toaster, and popping lids back on spice bottles and almond cans. While putting away some extra-large salad bowls in the cabinet beneath the candles, I met with some obstacles – a messy and out of order condition within the cupboard that kept me from stacking an oversized red bowl. I decided that “now” was a good time to straighten it up a bit. I reached in to take out everything (just a soon wipe the shelf down while reorganizing) and saw something from long ago in the corner. It was a juicer – not one like my mom used, the glass one that required squeezing an orange over its pointed protrusion, this one was electric – simple, but electric; it was mine.
I instantly thought of summer days long ago when boredom was lurking and kids were little and twitchy as the minutes sometimes crawled. Luckily, I kept a few things in my bag of tricks to cure monotony, one was the performance of this dutiful device. I’d take out a sack of oranges and this fancy juicer and some little fellows would take turns juicing. I had a little wooden stool to scoot up against the cabinet and their chucky little legs would hang from the seat as they had their turn turning navel oranges into a brew. The time passed, the orange juice, what was left, made it into the glass pitcher, the rinds to the compost and boredom dispersed.
When I saw that old appliance in the corner of the cupboard, I went back “there” so quickly. Back to a summer afternoon with little boys looking for something to do and the solution being so simple – just a distraction to reroute the afternoon.
Now, a professional Vita Mixer has a place of honor on my kitchen cabinet and every morning Elizabeth and I make green smoothies and when we really get ambitious about juice, another commercial appliance is taken from the cabinet over the stove. While oranges and kiwis go into the big and powerful Vita Mixer and a glass of very nutritious juice suddenly appears, the journey is not key here – there will be no moments to remember, just juice to drink. There is no lifting little boys up on wooden stools to reach the old juicer that mesmerized and entertained on a long summer afternoon in the country. It now sits still in a dark corner of my kitchen cabinet hardly remembered and never used but it has had many a vessel filled with delicious OJ and a simple life filled purpose.
I woke up at 5 this morning – on purpose because it is Saturday, a day I could wake up “unpurposefully”. I wanted to see where my thoughts were at that time of the day, a time when the media was at bay, a time when I could come to my computer to write and not yet be bombarded with each second of the day moving across the screen, images of rape and murders and dirty politics – I wanted to hear my thoughts. It is difficult to find those places anymore, it is difficult to be you anymore – to be still and think their own thoughts – we are always trending.
I have written many times about the natural world being over developed, the woodlands, the forests, the coasts, those places to “be” in are hardly available to us anymore, concrete and corporate have “bought” them and now much of that space is gone.
I am fortunate to have a bit of space that is in a natural state – not that big, but enough. I can walk through the field and spot a morning dove nesting in the tall grass and I can go to the edge of the woods and gather handfuls of honeysuckle to put in my kitchen. I can, in early spring, find wild blackberries to pick and I see the wildflowers bloom in complimentary colors each year, perfectly scattered in the fields and woods.
For me, not being able to experience these simple gifts from the natural world would be the absence of joy – I would not have inner peace, however fleeting it may be at times, if I did not have the natural world to connect to. It is spring and I must put plants in the ground and pick a bunch of wildflowers and honeysuckles and wake up early one Saturday morning in April and listen to the wind chimes in my backyard as I drink a cup of coffee and just be me.
Just wanted to post this quickly this morning – I received it through an email last night and I find value within these 3 minutes of artistry… (thanks Julie)
And so we are back…back from Boulder, back from a place of healthy food, clean mountain air, and most importantly, family. It was just enough time, four days, to soak up the culture and to catch up with everyone. I guess it was enough…how is it ever enough time for good food and good company?
on the farm
I always come back with a new and hopefully broader, perspective when I leave the familiarity of my hometown. This trip has made me think of priorities. It seems that many people there have cashed in – they have given up materialism as primacy for a way of life that emphasizes health, both physical and emotional, relationships (family) and personal development – not everyone, of course, but the ones I tended to notice. That appealed to me, it appealed to my core and reminded me of my youth and my direction when the whole world stretched out before me and the hurdles of my life were concealed by my naiveté’ and art. The direction towards a day filled with wholesomeness and simplicity, a day without regard to procurement, a life filled with genuine people whose worth was measured by character instead of a pocketbook – ahhh youth.
on the farm
Anyway, that’s how I see it “there” and for many, “there”, would not be a good choice – we all develop our own set of priorities in accordance to our experiences and environments, that’s how we end up unique, that’s how some people end up in places like Boulder and some people prefer other “experiences”.
I suppose one of the most graphic examples of this laid back lifestyle that I witnessed was one of a toddler slipped snuggly into her mother’s papoose with a fresh cut cucumber in each chubby fist and a smile that would have mistakenly told you it was a sugary popsicle not an organic fruit of the vine that she was enjoying – she was so happy there with her mom and a cucumber from the market. That path she is on, that path of sensuality and appreciation of the natural world, is where I want to spend as many moments as I can – that was my environment, my experiences and it is where my value system works best, it is where I feel less pressure, in a place where the taste of a homegrown cucumber defines a happy moment , it is a place of stillness where the sound of a bluebird can be heard and social propaganda is hushed.
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
Henry David Thoreau