There is a very nervous (foster) kitten loose and hiding in our 800-square-foot house.
And a caged rat cracking sunflower seeds, but rejecting the corn and “mystery pellets,” which Rose notices because she, too, is very allied to food preferences. And a batch of chokecherry mead audibly fermenting in my meditation corner. Yes, corner. (See: 800 square foot house).
And a husband gone for the third of many bow-hunting trips this month, trying to kill an 800-pound animal with a self-made, self-powered piece of wood (which, after spending another five-day stretch alone with the kids, sounds like a party. Drop me off in the woods with excessive bacon, please).
And one child playing a jarring, but charming, self-invented song on guitar called “African Bees”; the other child 20 inches away on the same couch perusing a book about airplane design, requesting, sighingly, that the musician play “just a little quieter.”
Which is to say, not much is new.
I made a batch of chokecherry mead recently, and when it was time to sterilize the “must” (must is the water, fruit and honey, which you sterilize to kill marauding wild yeasts and bacteria that can hijack your mead), I pondered the three sterilization options. Option No 1: Sterilize via chemicals. Option No. 2: Sterilize via boiling (which kills all beneficial enzymes in the honey). Option No. 3. Trust in the Universe (which involves doing nothing other than trusting that your chosen yeast will prevail).
I chose option No. 3. Not that I’m very good at Trusting in the Universe, which has a certain flimsy, slogany feel, and probably requires a certain level of “going with the flow” – not my strong point. Also, the argumentative 5-year old in me has a lot of boringly practical questions, like: Hey, what about hard work and personal responsibility?
But, then I went to the Monday night dharma talk at the Durango Dharma Center, where the teacher spoke of all the ways we suffer because of attachment, clinging and our unwillingness to let go. In essence, our inability to trust in the natural way of things, in change, in the unknown, in our lack of control, in the universe.
Being a veteran clinger, I get nostalgic for moments that haven’t even happened. Right now, I’m looking out the library window at the cottonwoods along the river, bits of yellow starting to flame. My mind goes instantly melancholic, fast-forwarding through every glorious color stroke of fall to the inevitable stark dormancy of winter. But guess what? It’s 75 degrees outside and spectacular. Apples are sweetening by the day. No matter what I cling to (a season, my children’s childhoods, my parents’ good health) the universe is primed to change, to subtly tick forward, to unfold in predictable and mysterious ways, none of which are within my control.
So, I’m Trusting in the Universe; trusting that we’ll get through Dan’s hunting absences as we always have (which may or may not include a slight uptick in coffee); trusting that the bubbling 3 gallons of chokecherry must will become a delicious mead, complete sometime next spring; trusting that the foster kitty will reappear; trusting that summer will yield to fall, and fall to winter; and that a tuneless rendition of “African Bees” may be exactly what we need.
Reach Rachel Turiel at firstname.lastname@example.org.Visit her blog, 6512 and growing, on raising children, chickens and other messy, rewarding endeavors at 6,512 feet.