Sunday, August 19, 2012

Melon & Lemon Verbena Cooler and The Universe's Travel Plans

Back in my olden days (you know, two short years ago) vulnerability as you know, was not in my bag of tricks. But I think today about how my ex said something to me the weekend we broke up touching into my lack of vulnerability I found so searing and so harsh, that I can't even type it here.  He spoke his truth and the truth burnt me to a crisp. A fucking crisp. Sometimes we take things personally that others say when we perhaps see the kernel of truth we agree with in ourselves. I took it personally. I saw the kernel of truth about myself I did not like. Now I thank him for this because I became aware of my half-way person ways through this whole process of breaking up. I am a fan of toaster ovens presently; the kind that bake our hearts to a nice golden hue. The kind of toaster ovens our very best teachers carry around with them. I do not run from searing love these days.  And so a recent interaction I had with someone helped me see this in new light and feel support for myself with how much I have embraced this new way. In the interaction I had with this person, I met them as far as they could come emotionally, which was not as far as I wanted them to come.  I was able to see their edge however, and I did not take it personally. Once I would have. I would have questioned, searched, or attempted to resolve it in some way. I would have taken it personally.  I would  have believed that if I were special enough they could go further. If I were dazzling enough, they would go further. The same as when I was married. If my husband knew how precious his family was, he would not party until 4am so often. This time however, I did not try to change this person or change the situation. I let it be. I loved them where they were. I loved me where I was. Suffering was felt deeply by me in this particular case however, because I found that I was attached to an outcome. Suffering is proving to always be a result of me having a particular way I want things to work out. Maybe akin to really wanting a job promotion when you think you are ready and your boss gives the job to someone else and you say "why did that happen?"  My teacher said to me a few years back "If someone doesn't love you, there is a place inside yourself you are not loving yourself. Go there".  So I will. Over and over and over again knowing that if I did not want to resolve what is in my life, I would not have invented it. Suffering only arises when I complain about the travel plans the universe is making for me. Plan away then, universe. Plan away. And to those who come into my life and teach me to love myself more, and help to recalibrate my compass towards accepting what is right here, I bow to you a thousand times with thanks.

And so it is melon season. Give me a melon and I am a happy gal. Really, I prefer them above all other fruit. A few days ago a friend gave me a surprise present of fresh lemon verbena. I have been making fruity drinks all summer long but just could not find a fun pairing for melon until lemon verbena came along. This is a super fast and easy recipe. A great base for a margarita or a homemade wine cooler if that is your thing. I mixed this with coconut water which rounded out the flavors and broadened the horizons of how far this drink could go. My first batch is already gone!

Melon & Lemon Verbena Cooler
make around 2 cups

2 cups chopped fresh melon (seeds out and skins off)
1 1/2 cups coconut water
4 leaves of fresh lemon verbena
2 leaves of fresh mint

Blend in a blender for 90 seconds.
Pour through a strainer to remove foam and bits of lemon verbena and mint leaves

Friday, August 10, 2012

Road Trip To Lake Arrowhead

Golden Hills of California

How can my 8 year old be almost as big as me?

My sister invented this ten cent holder for M's Ipad enjoyment...

Lake Arrowhead at sunset

Last little hurrah of summer. A quick trip (well ok, it was an 8 hour drive) to Southern California to visit family on Lake Arrowhead. I really like traveling through California. Perhaps my favorite part of driving long distances is getting glimpses into different communities. Peeking into people's lives while driving though a desert town. Watching who is walking down the sidewalk pushing the baby stroller. Who is ordering food at the drive-through. Resters at the rest stop.  I wonder over and over again if people are happy with their lives when I travel outside of my little place. I wonder if people even think about if they are happy or not. Does the thought plague them like it often does me? Do they wonder about how love shapes them? Do they consider loneliness and it how it seems to whisper in all the languages of man?  Or, do they push away loneliness at any cost, its price too high to tolerate. Sometimes, I look longer than is polite at these people in the world I am so curious about. I am imagining what their stories are, what their houses look like. Who their best friends are. What they think about when the fall asleep at night or the conversation they have with themselves as they put their clothes on in the morning. And when I leave my enclave of security in my little town filled with friends, life, movement, passion and food, I see the illusion that familiarity can breed for me. I am the fish out of water in the world who thinks about how suffering moves us, or love touches us and feel the organic movement from that below my feet. No longer is it important what title I will have, or great house I will possess or what ladder I will climb to get to somewhere. It is a big loss of traction when all signals coming from the outside world don't signal what they used to. And sometimes, this is a lonely place to be... So I imagine myself grabbing the eggplant out of the basket from the market. And looking at the bottle olive oil. And asking it what to do next. And the thickness of thought carries me. And I let it.


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