Two mornings ago, quite unexpectedly, I found myself transported to a deep mellow mood. It happened while I was in the barn. I was sitting next to Rainah, milking her, when the music on the radio was interrupted by the morning news. The UN was declaring a famine in Somalia. Words poured forth - drought, civil strife, tens of thousands dying, mostly children, an estimated 10 million people on the move seeking water, food and shelter. In the peaceful moments of sitting in the breeze coming in the open barn doors, stroking the side of my sweet goat my mind struggled to grasp the concept of millions of people wandering a drought parched land seeking sustenance. I sat, humbled by the fresh milk in the pail, humbled by the knowledge that just feet from the barn there were freshly laid eggs to gather from the hen house, a vast vegetable garden was thriving with enough vegetables to feed us for a year, a cold frame of salad greens was overflowing, ready to be eaten. Oh the abundance of it all. Who were we to be so blessed?
Immediately, in that moment, a deep awareness of how petty my days concerns were consumed me. How could anything I face that day possibly compare to not having enough water or food? Have you ever stood in front of a full pantry or refrigerator and looked at all that food, whining that you didn't know what you felt like eating and perhaps being too lazy to cook something? I have.
I spent the rest of my time in the barn in a sort of haze. Everywhere I looked I saw abundance, blessing, stored hay and grain to feed our animals, a lush summer landscape in the yard and fields, no drought here. Back in the house this mellow mood of deep peace and gratitude stayed with me. Time seemed to have slowed. Beethoven's Symphony #6 (the Pastoral, one of my favourites) came on the radio. Just how much bliss could one take? I stopped what I was doing and listened. Yoga seemed the best accompaniment and a few poses later, that crick in my neck that I had awakened with was gone.
The day continued like that and it was profound.
Two days later, I am stilll haunted by that news cast. I am also haunted by our abundance. I am a gal that practices staying in the present moment and counting my blessings isn't a new revelation but the depth of my recent awarement is something I wish to hang onto.
Simple things like a loaf of freshly baked bread and a pile of just harvested rhubarb waiting to be made into a cake takes on new meaning when you try to comprehend starvation. How casually we voice phrases like, "I'm dying of thirst." Yet, somewhere in the world, literally thousands are.
So, I seek to remember this mellow mood and to maintain that peace. Life has thown a few curve balls in the past two days and I could use a strong awareness of peace and contentment. My studio time has been eaten up by a real estate deal that has unraveled, something beyond my control. (Some of you may recall my ongoing challenges with settling my parents' estate.) There are more issues here than I wish to recount but suffice to say that it takes a great deal of my time, requires me to be out of town and in general uses up a significant amount of energy.
Consciously seeking balance is a life line to sanity. My tag line (in the header) of adding beauty to life isn't some trite little phrase. It is how I survive the rough bits. Something as simple as trolling the roadside ditches to gather daisies, chickory and Queen Anne's Lace and filling my home with their beauty keeps me grounded in the wonders of this journey.
Enjoying the hollyhocks outside my kitchen window helps too! Whatever you are facing today, I wish you peace. If necessary, go snip some ditch weeds, it helps. Most importantly though, lets remember that it isn't all about us. If you can give to an aid organization to help the victims of this famine, I encourage you to do so. We simply have so much...