Cooking with grace the Wise Woman Way

Growing up my mom did most of the cooking in our household. My dad grilled on occasion, cigar in tow, yet she consistently put balanced meals on the table and even packed my lunch (with sweet notes on the napkins).

As I grew, I started to see this as a great injustice. Why doesn’t dad cook or at least do the dishes? My sister and I would complain to one another. Somewhere inside of me I made amends to never have an arrangement like that, to never be the one who has to bear the yield of daily cooking.

Fast forward to the year two thousand sixteen. I live on 18 acres with my partner, a male, in Missouri. He often cooks: indeed, his delightful sprouted meals, smoothies, teas and ferments coaxed me into relationship with him from the get go. For the first years we were together traveling, it was he who would make most of our meals. At times he complained, yet I was determined not to be the default cook in any partnership. So I abstained and told him I would cook more once we found Place.

And here we are -in Place. Tonight I am cooking red lentils on the stove. I thought I may put in a Jamaican seasoning that titillated me at the market, but a red spice (not actually sure what it is HA!) caught my nose tonight and I dosed the pot with it. Add long simmering onion and kelp, salt, black pepper and new potatoes and beet greens from our garden, and I am full on in appreciation of the creation of meals to sustain, treat, nourish, and overwhelm my family with goodness.

I loath the day I would ever be relied upon by a household or organization to cook the majority of meals, yet I am appreciating the gentle transmutation of resources (and if I have a hand and heart in growing them, all the more magical!) that takes place in cooking. It seems a wise woman thing to do. This is also a word about balancing perceived injustices we witness in our youths. Most of us have them. My mom or dad did this and I’ll never (or often) do that!

Yet what we find is a subtlety in existence. It is not always clear cut.

Because with the flick of my wrist in stirring and the tap of my pointer finger in adding a spice… In the acuity of my eye in picking a vegetable from my garden or smelling a product at the market before I buy… I am taking part in a magical act. Indeed, we put parts of ourselves into our creations

And this brings me no small elation.

Perhaps, my mother cooking for us, the way she always has, the way women nearly always have, is them putting themselves into us, filling us with their love for us… And that is what makes us grow, along with the literal food. (And i am happy to take part in that with/for my loved ones.)

In fact, I am now coming round again to see what a blessed act the preparation of food can be. Putting a bit of my energy to transform materials to sustain your and my bodies.

Ah, full circle.

Come over for dinner sometime.

Yet, please, do the dishes 😜hahahah ☀️

Creativity Anew

Ini relocated a black widow just now. From in between the screen and plastic roll up window the yurt. I know these are shy creatures, ones who aren’t “out to get” humans, yet I can’t help having a visceral reaction to their presence. Such is how I felt just now when I spotted her. Last month I found a 3 inch long fishing spider in a bin of clothes. Yesterday mouse poop on the table. This morning a mouse drowned in a bucket of water. Yesterday, again, a dead young turkey that perhaps our dog killed or just found, dragged up to a main path.

We are in and amidst all of this life. Ticks, a daily ritual of peeling them off, sometimes up to 40 (most of them are caught before they bite, as an aside for concerned readers, and I am studying and practicing Buhner’s Lyme protocol for protection).

I must say that all of these challenges wear on me, as a human who feels well in a certain modicum of comfort. The black widow 2 ft from my bed upped the ante here a bit. I don’t want to have to check in my sheets each night before bed, and I also don’t want to live in fear. Yet increasingly I am tremendously bothered by the encroachment of death (the rather smelly, putrid aspect of the cycling of life), and the seeming lack of boundaries between the waves of natural and wild life upon my own.

Deep breath. I’m writing this as a form of catharsis, in hope to shed some of my immediate, current upset response, and to create space. Space to perhaps gain momentum to better seal off the yurt. To set another mouse trap. To say a prayer ushering in peace.

And, too, I want to write more. Haha so be it if the genesis comes about because of a black widow. If one is to “read into” animal sightings (and I tend to), spiders represent creativity, the power of the word (spelling), the webs we weave. Black widows have shown up in the past in the face of unfavorable, even malevolent presences in my life. This isn’t the feeling I get here, but I will take it as a catalyst to start exercising my creativity through writing again.

Falling leaves as they come
Creating fertile forest duff
one by one