31 March 2010

25 March 2010

vitamin d

I just got off the phone with my sister, Deola. She found out that she received her residency placement in Emergency Medicine at her first choice.

In less than two months, she will complete her fourth year of medical school, and she will graduate.

Tonight, she is working on a paper and a bowl of Breyers, and she is in my thoughts. I'm still feeling weepy and so, SO proud.


"To know that we know what we know and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge." - Confucius.

To know and to be known. It has been my anthem, my cry.

And how will I know when I know? And what if I don't know? Or what if I used to know and now I'm not so sure?

Nine days ago, sitting criss-cross-applesauce on the floor with my kiddos, I identified 16 fruits and vegetables that 1.) I had never heard of prior to that day, 2.) I had never tried before that day, or 3.) I had heard of and/or tried before that day, but determined to try again.

Did you know bell peppers are actually considered fruits?!

What else I didn't know nine days ago...

1. Currant (fresh)
2. Endive
3. Gooseberry
4. Huckleberry

5. Indian Corn
6. Kumquat
7. Okra
8. Papaya Seeds
9. Parsnip

10. Radicchio
11. Rutabaga
12. Quince
13. Starfruit
14. Uglifruit
15. Vegetable Marrow
16. Watercress

What I've since learned...

9. PARSNIP (check).

I've learned that when you cut into a parsnip, it smells delicate and sweet. If a carrot were a flower, it would smell like a parsnip.

I've learned that parsnips taste great roasted with carrots, garlic, olive oil and thyme. I've learned that a great way to introduce something new (i.e. parsnips to two curly topped kiddos) is to ease in and pair the unknown with the known.

I've learned that roasted parsnips and carrots taste amazing, look pretty and smell heavenly in a salad -- even on the second day.

And over the weekend, I learned that I care for papaya seeds a little less than I care for papaya. I don't. Neither papayas nor their seeds appeal to me or to my senses. These little, woodsy, caviar-looking seeds don't photograph well, and although they are edible, I would rather leave them off my blog and in the produce section (or the delivery truck or the papaya tree... er, uh, plant...) with the papaya from which they originated... and by which they originate... and... And now I know.

And I still don't.

mothers and daughters

thank you.

08 March 2010


Well, I've got some good news.

I found my cell phone!!

(In the washing machine).

So, rather than focusing on that which I've lost with my found phone, I've set a timer, and I plan to devote the next seven minutes to basking on the bright side (five... four... three... two... go!)

1. My cell phone is clean.
2. Now, I have an excuse for why I don't answer my phone.
3. I can switch to a local number.
4. I can save $50/mo and spearhead a payphone revolution.
5. Um, I don't even get cell reception on this island.
6. In case you were wondering, I can confirm (for the second time), that this Motorola is not water resistant.
7. One less thing to do while driving.
8. I can stop looking for my phone.
9. Maybe I'll finally start checking pockets before washing. And maybe I won't.

Five... four... three... two... one.

Now, THAT was fun.

03 March 2010

joy's gift

I just finished reading the book I thought perhaps I came to this island to write.

It came into my life the day before last as a gift from a gift -- from Joy. Her path and my own intersected the day before that -- just one week after she and her family arrived here. She knew and I knew without a word, that the hushed melodies that called each of us to this time and this place were harmonious. Her story and my story, her song and my song -- although different -- are uncannily similar. The rhythm and tone and resonance of her heart, which has also leaned like the head of Spring's tulips toward the light of love, grace, simplicity and freedom, beats in concert with my own.

In this Lenten season, which for me began with a decision to stand hard and fast on the bedrock of Love, I have received gift after gift after gift. I thank You. As I have stripped, surrendered, let go and lost pieces of myself, I have retrieved, renewed, rediscovered and newly uncovered pieces of me.

Thank you.

You have filled me once again with hot cereal, granted me courage and serenity to shed the shell I have outgrown, to stand in the rain and to make room for something new. You have looked into my eyes, reached into my heart and in the midst of confusion and doubt, You have not only assured me that I am okay, but I am loved. From ashes, You have indeed called forth beauty. You have helped me to see a steadfast sun. On the heels of despair, You have brought forth Joy.

And Joy, she lent me the book I read today -- a simple book that articulated the story of the last year in my life with refreshing succinctness and breathtaking clarity. It infused words where I had few and attached meaning to that which I could not fully grasp on my own.

As I've listened to the rhythm of my heart, it has nudged me toward abstruse silence and solitude... to an island.
Yet in my heart's recesses, I have sensed companionship. I have sensed the presence of seen and unseen partners in this pas de deux. Troi. Quatre. Cinq... dans ce pas de beaucoup et un peu (pardon my French, s'il vous plait).

Over fifty years ago, a woman sat and reflected on a beach much like the one right outside my window. She collected the shells I have collected these last 215 days. She listened to them, looked to them, and wrote down a movement in their symphony. In her song. In my song. In Joy's song. And I imagine, in yours too.

Like all good things, I know the gift I received earlier this week was not just for me. Today, I partook. And I was rapt. And I wept. And I was blessed (thank you). And now, with the open hands and heart with which I received this gift, I release it to you.

Anne Morrow Lindberg's, Gift from the Sea.

If it is time, and you have not yet been met or been moved by this book, I pray you will pick it up, pour it over and then pass it on. And if it found you some time in your past and its season has returned, I pray you will scour your shelves, refresh your spirit, and let it speak to you again.

It is written. I'm relieved.

A love story was penned in the ancient of days. It has been told, and shared, and retold, and it will continue to be. I feel peace in today's assurance that although I am often -- gratefully -- in solitude on this island, I am not alone. With grace and good pleasure, I may rest and I may dance in this melodious sea of the known and unknown with partners seen and unseen. And in so doing, I may receive and release its boundless gifts.

The tide is rising, and it feels good.