Day #63

Today my Love woke up sick. Back to the doctor and another round of antibiotics. More infection and more depleted energy.

We were supposed to run 5 miles today. But I chose to nourish with food instead of exercise today.

And what do we cook for the ill? Soup, of course! My Love is allergic to a good deal of foods so no chicken noodle here. I made carrot ginger soup instead.

A stock pot with soup ingredients in it. I giggled to myself as I placed leek, garlic, ginger and then broth, 2 lbs of carrots, and salt with a small dash of cinnamon. I giggled because of everyone who give outcry that healthy food is too expensive. My simple little soup was so cheap but rich in nutrients and vitamins and love.

I mindfully prepared this meal for my sick Love. I peeled the carrots and thought of them deep in dirt somewhere growing in the sun soaking up the water. I imagined the leeks being pulled from the ground and rinsed on their journey to my kitchen. As I stirred it all up, I focused on the energy and health that was present in that pot.

There is life and death in the power of food, my gentle readers.

An hour later, we sat down to eat.

He’s grinning at my homemade delight, “It looks like a gourmet soup.” And after tasting it, raves about how good it tastes.

Now I’m grinning ear to ear. The nurturer is being nurtured because there is health and harm in the power of words as well.

And there is love all around …

 

Day #29

Today was Winter Solstice. The shortest day and longest night of the year. Of course, there are many scientific reasons that today is what it is. But being humans, we have assigned it festivals and traditions, ceremonies and celebrations dating back and back and back. What I love about Winter Solstice is the opportunity to reflect…

I thought–as I made hot beef stew and gluten-free cornbread–about the hours I have spent in the kitchen this year. I love my kitchen, to me it represents nurturing. I cook and play here. I feed hungry bellies good, healthy food. I give life to the bones that live under my roof. Cooking has become such a powerful skill set with allergies and autoimmune deficiencies. I have seen the ability of food to bring illness or energy. I no longer underestimate the importance of food to our bodies. I have learned much this year in my kitchen.

A girl painting pastel colors onto birdhouse sections.
Adalie carefully painting the birdhouse.

I reflected as my daughter painted a bird house to help those little creatures through the winter. I thought of all the hours this year we have observed nature. How it never ceases to inspire awe. How it teaches me lesson after lesson when I tune in and listen. How it changes me, guides me, inspires me to be a better person. Every time I walk in to a quiet moment with nature, I never leave the same. I have learned much this year in the outdoors.

I laughed as we decorated crumbling sugar cookies. But even all falling apart, they were delicious with icing and sprinkles. And isn’t this the way of life? This year is probably one of the first in my life I didn’t have a “plan.” I ebbed and flowed with what came and went. It wasn’t always easy, but it was always beautiful. I have learned much this year in the everyday moments.

And I observed as we walked silently, except for the jingle of bells. A tradition started last year to teach my daughter how to walk quietly (you can’t be louder than the bells). I saw a

A man and a girl acting silly in the light of colorful Christmas lights.
Craig and Adalie before the meditative “jingle bell” walk.

husband that loves me endlessly with no reservation. I saw a little girl wild blond hair flowing behind her, free spirit growing inside her.

The absolute basis, for me, to all life is my connection to others and these two are my foundation.  I have learned so much this year from these relationships and so many others.

And as I sit here now, watching the glow of the Christmas tree and taking stock of my life. I realized something appalling… 2014 has been the best year of my life! In the past, I have always ended the year thinking, hoping, believing that next year “has to get better.”

For the first time that I can ever remember, I will end the year content with my life. While I am excited to see what 2015 holds, I am no longer desperate for it to change my world. I’m not sure if this is so much a reflection on my year or on myself, but either way–I’ll take it.

A platter of sugar cookies in assorted shapes.
Cookies make everything better.