Yesterday afternoon Jay and I sat at the table stripping mint leaves from their stalks, arranging them in assorted patterns on the dehydrator trays. We were both a bit worn with the day, and so I had made some mate latte tea. I had mine with honey, and that, along with the crisp scent of mint, seemed to be lifting the tired fog that engulfed me.
We talked a bit about his work, and then I made my pitch.
“Let’s try something new,” I suggested. “Let’s make our midday meal our main meal of the day. Before then, we can all work together, in the garden, on your carcycle, whatever. After the meal, you can go to your shop, I can go to my studio, and the kids can have free time.”
I had this idea that morning, as my children fought downstairs with a vengeance. I was trying to get a small task done, and had left them to their own devices. Of course this was a recipe for disaster, but only a minor disaster, the type to which I am somewhat immune. I need some sort of shift, I thought, as Renee screamed at McKinley at the top of her lungs downstairs. There has to be a way for us to move more into the life we desire with less stress and more beauty. There just has to be a way!
As it has been, our life very loosely resembles a traditional set-up, whereby Jay goes to work in the morning, albeit just next door, and usually around 10 am, and I stay at home with the kids. That is about where the resemblance ends, since “staying home with the kids” might mean swimming in the river, or it might mean discussing the current crisis in Gaza, as we did yesterday. Still, being the only one with the kids for most of the day means that when I can break away to the studio, I usually don’t have the energy. Making dinner at the end of the day usually takes what last bit of energy I might have had.
So in our constant quest–sometimes joyful, sometimes not–to do everything, we are attempting a shift change. We’ll try it for a week and see how it works. Today was the first day, and oh, today!
We started the day with coffee, as usual, sitting at the table in our outdoor kitchen. I woke the children by reading some of “The Island of the Blue Dolphins” to them. Reading with them in the morning, rather than at night, has proven to be the trick to getting my children from sleep to wakefulness without yelling. Then we read together from “Opening Doors Within,” which is a daily meditation book by Eileen Caddy, one of the co-founders of Findhorn. Breakfast was followed by jumping on the trampoline, and then into the garden we went, weeding and planting 8 butternut squash plants. The clouds came and cooled us from the hot Sun, and then the rain began to fall upon us, big thick drops, sporadic and delicious at first, and then a torrent. We rushed to the house, wet and laughing.
For our midday meal, Jay and Renee made a stack of handmade tortillas (thirty-two to be precise), while McKinley made hummus, and I made a frittata.
I sent McKinley to the garden to take pictures of the row of butternut squash and the limbs of our peach trees, which are laden with peaches. We have so many peaches that I’ll be making peach preserves, peach chutney, and peach pie come August. Anyway, here’s the pictures he took:
My Marvel of Venice beans are coming up strong, and the arugula I planted with the kids a few days ago has made a fine green appearance. We’ve been getting good rain this week, so the other beans I planted, and the sunflowers, should be showing pretty soon. The garden grows, the river warms, and summer really is upon us. With my husband joining me in the garden, I feel like anything is possible!