I try to live in a noble way, think of the good meanings
of ritual objects and the taste of spices and fruits.
– from “Since You Asked” by Eloise Klein Healy
The cold this morning – somewhere near 15 degrees Fahrenheit – made my bones ache as I fed everyone today. The kettle full of steaming water I poured into the dogs’ and goats’ bowl was cool enough to drink as I turned to walk away.
It’s these mornings that I feel my body most alive.
Much of the world is hard these days – ISIS and the continuing struggle set in relief by Ferguson, young girls murdered nearby, and the lifting brief relief of the pipeline defeated. I am choosing not to spend my time and energy there because, well, what is there to do.
And for that, I am disappointed in myself – both for my desire to focus elsewhere and my own futility.
Instead, I’m pouring my tastebuds out over the meal I will make for friends tonight – grass-finished beef, homemade noodles, fresh bread from the Mennonite market. I savor the thought of the hot shower that will soon paint my shoulders. I see the glimmer of sunlight on the walnut branches and wish I could paint.
A junco has just climbed to the tippy top of the apple tree just below this second story window where I stare. Her belly is fluffed against the cold, and I think she is the wisest among us perhaps, her days spent in eating and the tiniest twitches of movement to see what is below her.
Soon, I will load dry rasps of wood into the belly of the iron gift that sits in the reading room. He will sigh and pop with the heat, and I will lose myself in his dry breath for a while.
Days when the cold spins up my legs like water, I remember that there is enough to do here – enough honesty to seek, enough prejudice to overcome, enough bravery to muster.
And on these days, I hope – I pray – it is enough.