In yoga class an instructor often invites students to set an intention for the hour ahead. The opportunity sometimes catches me off-guard, but after that initial, “Oh,” I quickly recognize what I need for the day ahead of me (calm, or forgiveness), and ask for it, or intend it. I bring that intention into the poses that comprise a yoga class, and always leave better than when I arrived.
“When you drive up to your home or workplace, what do before you go inside?” The workshop leader looked intently at the man he’d chosen to answer this question.
The first thing I didn’t post on Facebook was a picture of the snake we found on the front porch. The second photo I didn’t post was a shot of my riding helmet, half-chaps, and bridle hung together on a wrought-iron rack against rough-hewn barn wood. It looked like something staged for a magazine.
Our neighbors were selling their car and promptly had it tuned up and detailed to fetch the best price. As they drove the car home from the shop, they decided to keep driving it. The engine purred, the chrome glistened, and the stains on the upholstery had vanished. The curious presence of a “new car smell” solidified their decision.
A few weeks ago our friend Evan sat with me in the kitchen while I rustled up some food. Evan is a surgeon by day and a weekend potter. I poured something into a bowl he gave us..
I recently inflated my bike tires near the barn and none of the horses took note of the loud whooshing sound that escaped when I pulled the pump off of the valve stem. The horses kept grazing, but Peter’s spotted mule lifted his head and snorted in fear. Cledus was certain that whatever this was, it was out to get him.
The long holiday week provided us with plenty of opportunities to sit with others and talk without the usual time constraints. Our paths crossed with people young and old, the long-term loved as well as new friends with whom we assembled over meals. As we departed from the final gathering of the holiday, I pondered the art of conversation.
My last column here dealt with issues of time and busyness. I received so many heartfelt emails from readers that I want to revisit that subject and delve a little deeper than the first 675 words allowed me to do. This isn’t a subject I have mastered, but one I struggle with almost daily. Apparently I am not alone.
Once upon a time when someone asked, “How are you?” the expected answer was, “Fine.” Today, of course, the expected reply is, “Too busy,” uttered with a weary sigh and brief eye contact followed by a nod from the questioner that communicates, “Yeah, me too.” It is a moment of commiseration, for most of us are too busy.
Sometimes big events coincide in single years, as they did for us in 2011 when Peter’s 60th birthday and our 30th anniversary passed within a month of each other. Peter retired to the farm and we convinced our daughters to throw us a party at the Murphey School. We had a lot of fun there with family and friends.
It wasn't a New Year's intention but a new morning inspiration that got me back into yoga class last week. I've written this column about yoga before, but despite all the endorsements I've given it in the past, I had let busy-ness and stress overtake me, and I had stopped going.
Christmas 2013 has come and gone and the New Year is poised to enter our reality. Every year people ask, “Are you ready for the holidays?” I ponder that question and the things we do to “get ready.” Why do we do them, and what are their consequences? What is the meaning behind our actions?
I want to emphasize, at the outset, that no one has ever told me I should write a cook-book.
People have asked me for recipes, though, and that is where I get into trouble, because I don’t work from or towards recipes. If I open a cookbook, I use the formula more as a “suggestion” than as a mapped-out procedure. I often add or subtract, based upon what I have at hand. Things usually work out.
Patricia Jones’ doctors told her “There is nothing you can do.” They continued to prescribe medications and watch her diabetes worsen until, finally, they told her there was nothing more they could do except put her on insulin. “There is no cure for diabetes,” they said.
On the second Sunday, most every month, a few cars make the long trek down our gravel driveway at 2:30 in the afternoon.