our neighbors cut down over 30 trees last week, all tall old oaks. i cried. it was hard to watch and the thud was felt at my home every time they dropped huge pieces of trunk to the ground. i went around and hugged all my large old trees, telling them not to worry and that i felt the pain too. we are not close to our neighbors, but we are not on bad terms. we just live our own lives minding our own business. a wave here, a hello there. sometimes a bag of clothes for the boys on the doorstep when they are cleaning out closets. in the midst of the tree cutting our neighbor stopped by. she reassured us that things would grow back and that it would fill in, not to worry. she was worried that the trees were to close to the house and the power lines, understandable. then she look at me and said, you kids can have all the wood in the corner of the driveway. i was astonished. there was a lot of wood, that wood would last us through a winter (not this one, but maybe the next). all we had to do was get it. hubs and i worked all weekend cutting and hauling wood. as we were working Sunday night (josh with the chainsaw, me loading the trailer), she yelled across the yard, you kids are doing awesome, i’ll make sure to save the rest of the wood. you keep working at it. so each night after josh gets home from work we go and cut and haul wood. thankful for the generosity of our neighbor, who not only offered us a lot of wood, but also the neigh boor on the other side and another friend of hers. people are amazing and generous and kind.
i have always been comfortable alone. i have never had a big circle of friends, i have never been one to go out and seek companionship. but for a long time i felt like i was missing out. the parties, the popularity, always busy, always on the go, friends here, friends there, friends everywhere. i have been doing work on being better and living better and thought dipping my toes into the exciting life of hustle and bustle was just what i needed. i made new friends, i went out often, i socialized and put myself out there. it was hard work! making and keeping connections, always being available to help said friends, planning, going, doing. well it wasn’t what i needed and i actually dreaded going out and talking to people, i forced myself to be chatty and cheery. all that activity drained every bit of energy out of me…….every. last. drop.
i have found for me that i am not fulfilled being that person, the one who is socially active, who has to be on the go all the time, and being the center (or just off center) of attention. i actually hate being in a crowd, even a group. i don’t connect with people when there are bunches around. i prefer to connect on a more personal level. i am not interested in the latest fashion or show on TV, i don’t want to talk about the weather (ok i may talk about weather in a deeper sense but not ‘how do you like all this rain?’ type of chit chat).
i have found that i want deeper conversations, i want a smaller group of friends who will explore thoughts and ideas without being offended and that they too are interested in the things being said. i want a handful for friends who truly listen, not just wait for a turn to speak. it is so so hard to find these days, especially in real life. so many so busy with the mundane, the superficial. i do have a couple of friends i love spending time with, even if it is just occasionally. i even have friends online that i really enjoy discussions with, who i have a deeper friendship, ones that actually help fill my cup instead of drain it.
i recently read the book Quiet by Susan Cain and it really struck a cord with me. it helped explain so much about how i interact with the world and the discrepancies i saw between me and those outgoing, fun folk everyone flocked to. i found it sad that all my life i have grown up thinking that there was something wrong with being quiet, shy, intellectual (these are not generally used as positive terms. our culture sees social, talking, chatty, outgoing people as the ideal and that we all must find that person in us in order to be successful in any aspect of our lives).
well, i am embracing my quiet, shy, intellectual side. i don’t want to be the center of attention, i don’t want a huge group of friends, i don’t want to force chit-chat, or do things to get out there and meet people. i am so happy to have a small circle of friends in which i have cultivated a deep friendship with, i am happy to stay home and chat online with a far flung friend for hours about topics important to us both, and i am happy to be by myself. i am no longer going to try and fit in, or be friends with everyone i meet. i will continue to show gratitude for all that i am and have, i will be compassionate and kind to every person i meet, and i will continue to follow my heart, even when i am saying no to all the things that do not bring me joy. although society says that i should fit into this particular box, i just do not and i can not make myself.
Here is the recipe for the pie crust for pot pie. make up a double batch and freeze the extras for next time.
easy pie crust for all your pot pie needs
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
-1/4 cup coconut oil, cut into pieces (i place both the coconut oil and butter in fridge so they harden)
-6-10 tbsp cold water (i get a glass of ice water when i start so that i will have icy cold water when i need it.)
Roll out to eleven inches and use according to recipe.
This is one of those comfort foods that instantly take me back to childhood, the steamy, savory pie coming out of the oven and the aroma filling our home. i LOVE this meal and it has become a family favorite with my husband and boys.
the ultimate comfort food
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 smallish medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup of flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 pie crust, home made or store bought.
standing on the edge
watching the waves come to shore
the water is cool
This is the altar i have prepared for Autumn. as the leaves fall i have collected colorful ones from around my property, there is are other elements that represent autumn to me, apples (we are surrounded by orchards), seeds from the wild plants and ones we have saved from the garden, poke-berries and milkweed fluff. this is a sacred space and the crystals hold my intentions for the altar. it is here that i meditate, journal, and plan.
do you have an altar or sacred space? what important things are there for you?