Reach Out and Touch Someone

The human touch. Vital.

Just now I had a fine and fabulous hour and half of body work. It was exquisite. There were knots I knew I had and some she found that were surprising. Time was taken with tender deep work to unravel and relax me.

What I realized at the very end of this time, as my head was being massaged and her sweet intuition realized the nirvana that I had reached, was that just being touched in such a sensitive and caring way was, in itself, healing. Not just the untying of the chunks of overworked and tense muscles, but the touch.

Having not been in a romantic relationship for years, I miss touch. Not sex, necessarily, although that might be just fine also. But, touch. Cuddling. Thankfully I have a community that treasures hugs, as does my family. We all need that loving touch.

Forgive me from quoting a commercial a ways back from some communication company —

“Reach out and touch someone.” Trust me, they will feel better.

touch

More Than Enough Chard and Cilantro

Recently a friend sent me a beautiful and bountiful book called “Vegetable Literacy” by Deborah Madison. Aside from being a visually stunning book, it is full of wonderful recipes.  The friend thought it was somewhat cheeky of him to be giving me a book about growing and serving vegetables, about which he assumed I knew more than enough. But, wrong he was and I have spent hours reading this book and even trying a recipe or two. Here is one I liked. With worlds of Swiss Chard currently in our garden, as well as cilantro, this was a natural choice!

chard

Chard Soup with Cumin, Cilantro and Lime

8 cups trimmed chard leaves (about a pound or 20 leaves)

3 tbsp olive oil

1 onion sliced

1 potato sliced

1 carrot sliced

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

cup of finely cut cilantro leaves

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt

freshly ground pepper

grated zest and juice of one lime

Chop the chard coarsely. Heat oil in soup pot. Add onion, potato and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes to soften. Stir in the tomato paste, smashing it into the veggies and then add the cumin, coriander, cilantro and chard leaves. Sprinkle salt, cover the pot and allow the leaves to cook down lots  before adding 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to simmer, cover partially, and simmer until potato has softened.  Cool slightly and then add sour cream and puree in blender until smooth. Return it all to pot over gentle heat.  Taste for salt, season with pepper, and stir in the lime zest and juice. Should serve four.

cilantro

Spirit Wilting

While I still hold onto my own little piece of the planet and the goodness we grow here, both in the gardens and in our hearts, I find each and every day a part of my spirit wilts knowing what an abysmal man we have at the helm of our mother ship, America.

And just this morning, while I read aghast once more, the expeditious and evil things he is implementing just days after taking office, I realized that my disgust for him as a person might even exceed my distaste for his ill-guided and insidious policies.

Trump is a buffoon. But, he is also a vile man, whose continued lack of respect for women is nothing short of shocking. Selfish and seriously disturbed, the very sight of him makes me cringe.

There, I have said it. And now I can get back to the work of doing whatever I can, in my own small way, to counter the repugnant actions this repulsive man is enacting.

Darkest Day or Return of the Light?

Today’s winter solstice — darkest day or return of the light? I truly feel that right now we so strongly need the metaphor of the return of the light. If we dwell, emotionally and spiritually, in the dark, we can become both bitter and hopeless. Acknowledging that the light exists in each of us may just assist us in bringing that forward. I cannot tell what that might mean to you, but I do know that just simple kindness can be potent. Opening up our hearts when shutting down is a normal response to the state of both our country and the world can be a powerful antidote to this darkness. Let that little light of yours shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.

winter-sunrise

Mindfulness and a Big Ouch!

I fell today. Without attempting to explain the physics of the event, suffice it to say it involved a wet tile floor, soap, scrubbing and me. I came down hard and fast onto my hip. Hard enough to see stars and utter several unladylike profanities. As I lay there for a bit gathering myself and assessing to see if any real damage had been done, I contemplated that falls like that are dangerous at any age, but no joke at 67.

I don’t know where my mind was when this occurred, but I do know it wasn’t on the task at hand. After recovering I got to thinking that I was obviously not totally present when it happened. It was a shocking and painful reminder to move more slowly and consciously. To be walking down the stairs when I am walking down the stairs, not thinking where I’m off to at the bottom. To be aware that I am getting up on a slippery tile floor when doing so, not thinking about what I have to clean next. To be lifting that hot boiling pot of pasta to the sink when I’m lifting that pot, not pondering the sauce that will be going onto the pasta once drained.

Cultivating mindfulness has so many facets and so many benefits. It can improve our lives in a myriad of ways. And in this case, could have saved me the giant lump on my hip which shall be turning so many neon colors soon enough.

Be here now.

Hope When It Feels Hopeless

I have waited a bit for the utter shock of this election to settle in my gut before writing. And, here I am five days later still trying to integrate this rather bizarre reality. I am, by nature, a hopeful woman. Perhaps even a bit of a Pollyanna. But, this has tested me to the limits of my trust in the “rightness” of things. 

What I get easily is the discontent many people feel in their lives. Their frustration. Their feelings of helplessness. I am a fortunate woman, not as deeply ensconced in these feelings, perhaps even elite in the scheme of things. There is only one area in which I have felt totally abandoned by my current president—that of his catering to the industrial food farms and corporations. Other than that monster of an issue, I remain happy with what Obama has both accomplished and attempted to accomplish while in office. 

Still, I voted for a change — Bernie Sanders. Another man with both vision and little to no baggage. This dream did not materialize. So, attempting to not waste my energy in the blame game, I looked to the next best in a candidate. I compared Bernie and Hillary’s voting records while in the Senate and they were mostly in line. I listened when he asked us to support her as a candidate. And I watched the process unfold where a dubious business man and reality television star became the other party’s candidate. His undignified and downright weird demeanor throughout the campaign simply baffled and even disgusted me. I just could not imagine him running the country I am so fortunate to call home. 

Yet, here we are. With Donald Trump as our President elect. With both Trump and I shocked. No amount of wishful thinking will change this sobering fact . Not even the plethora of petitions running amok on the internet to challenge the electoral college in December. (That crazy system is a whole other issue, way over due for some tweaking!)

So, while Trump tries to figure out to actually be president, my basic hopeful nature has surfaced once more. It was just this morning, over a hot delicious cup of coffee watching the sun rise over the farm, that I pondered my personal choices. I can remain both depressed and sad about this turn of events, or I can find a state of acceptance and, yes, even hope. 

But, mostly the reality is that I can just continue to do what I do, in my own small way. I can continue, with my family, to grow fine organic food. I can continue to host visitors to Kauai and model a life of clean sustainability. I can continue to treat people with open hearted kindness. I can continue to communicate clearly to the best of my ability. I can continue to make ethical consumer choices. I can continue to protect our precious environment in a myriad of small ways. I can continue to practice yoga to keep myself strong and flexible in mind, body and spirit. And I can love. I believe this is the best personal protest and political progress I can make. Oh, yes, and I can hope. Hope that my choices ripple out in some small way to counter the hate, fear and uncertainty currently so stirred up. 

flag

Still Single?

Still single? No man in your life yet? Don’t you miss having a partner?

These are a sampling of the questions I continue to get weekly for the past 15 years.

The answers are in order: Yes. No. Sometimes.

The fact is that my life is full and fine. I am surrounded by an inclusive and interesting community. My friends are solid and super. Those friends are just a text or call away for quick bite out, a movie or just a cup of tea or glass of wine and talk time. My sons live on the farm with their partners, giving me the unique and fabulous opportunity to live in my home alone and yet have their company and help daily. My daughter has a wonderful husband and life on the mainland and we talk constantly and visit often.  I have work that both inspires and tires me. For years that work has provided ample abundance. My reading tastes are vast and varied, making the possibility of ever being bored a non-issue. Beaches for meandering are plentiful, as are the yoga classes at my favorite studio in town.

Post-divorce my sole intent was to stabilize myself and my children, both emotionally and practically. That was a worthy task which took both gumption and grace, as well as a great deal of time. As things smoothed out for us all, time ticked away, as it has a way of doing.

So, here we are. Fifteen years later. Do I miss having a partner? Sure. Sometimes. But in all honesty, not for the most part. I’m a bit set in my ways, perhaps even feisty. A man would have to be utterly and completely compelling to even consider integrating him into the scene I have created here. If you know someone up to the task, give him my number and fair warning! Otherwise, just know I remain still single and satisfied.

dolphin