Food is uninspiring right now. Well, that’s not exactly true – it’s the meal-making that is uninspiring, the feeling that we eat the same thing all the time – which isn’t exactly true either (eating the same thing all the time) and wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. But I’m in a rut, maybe. Especially when it comes to lunch.
The other day, I ask my daughter if she’d like pancakes for lunch. She says yes. I make half of them with blueberries. It’s the perfect lunch. We both agree that we should eat pancakes for lunch more often.
I return a cookbook that I thought would inspire but, instead, completely overwhelms. Just before returning the cookbook, I stumble upon the title of another cookbook* by someone who has written two others already on my kitchen shelf. I order this new(ish) cookbook. When it arrives and I begin reading it, I am not overwhelmed, and I just might be inspired. In letting go of the book I thought I needed, the one I’d heard about multiple times, the one everyone is loving, I find something other. I find something that fits me better. I am not everyone.
To the left of my desk has been a pile of yoga books that I reference when planning classes. The pile slides around as I grab one book, replace it with another. How does this honor my work? It doesn’t. Also, it’s messy. I finally sit down on the floor and pull from the small shelf by my desk all the books I’m not currently using – the books I kept close when teaching a teen journaling class two years (!) ago. I put those books in the other room, on another shelf, place the yoga books lovingly onto this shelf by my desk, within reach. It’s neat and tidy. It honors and supports me in my work. This feels good.
I walk, sometimes alone, sometimes with my daughter, often with our pup. The leaves are beginning to turn, are falling to the ground. My daughter and I step on the leaves as we walk, savoring the crunching sound. I crunch the leaves when I walk alone, too. On a recent walk, there are leaves clustered along a section of curb. To crunch all the leaves, I need to walk in a narrow line, so that my feet are not side by side in a natural gait. It’s as if I’m walking a tightrope, suspended, except I am deeply rooted to the ground and autumn sounds. It crosses my mind that I look foolish walking this way. I don’t care. Leaf crunching is satisfying. I am satisfied as I walk that day.
I welcome a new student to my Restorative Yoga class. She’s a middle school teacher and she shares a story that illustrates, once again, how Covid has touched lives in ways I hadn’t considered. She teaches me, when she’s come for me to teach her. This exchange is not lost on me.
As I write this, it’s almost time for lunch. Unsure what to make, I know I’ll settle on something by the time I get to the kitchen. It will be something simple and nourishing, something warm and comforting on this damp, grey day. Whether I’m inspired or not, I will make something and my daughter and I will fill our bellies, will sit together at the kitchen table sharing food and time. That I’ve shared countless lunches with my kids over the years of homeschooling is something I savor. These lunches will not go on forever but, for now, I am content and satisfied – and maybe, inspired.
The days are nouns: touch them / The hands are churches that / worship the world
~ from “Daily” by Naomi Shihab Nye ~
*for those curious, here’s the cookbook referenced (the not-overwhelming-to-me one)
P.S. This month, we’re gathering for The Quiet Page on Wednesday, October 20.
A short, guided meditation. Writing prompts to get hand + heart onto page.
Join us as we explore the theme of Manifestation.
Click here for details + registration.
P.P.S. Registration is also open for Gratitude Week/Gratitude Notes.
It’s free! And there are different ways to enjoy our week together.
Click here for details. Dates: November 8-14.