From hot sunset walks to shirking to-do lists, sidewalk chalk on the soles of our shoes, and sun on my back. A few things that have been happening in our world ..
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Looking – For my wedding ring(!) I lost it water-walking in the lazy river this week
Missing – Little Z. Grief .. I've learned is a terribly strange thing. You think you're fine, and most days you are. Until one afternoon you find yourself in the middle of the garden. A song comes on that reminds you of the last road trip you took together. Pretty soon you find yourself sitting in the dirt crying. Asking God to please give him an ear scratch and tell him
how much you love him
Adding – Vital Proteins to my smoothies. Powdered collagen has health benefits ranging from stronger hair and nails to a better-balanced gut. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I feel better all-around when I incorporate some into my days
Snacking on – Coconut Flour Peanut Butter Muffins. The batter is blended in the food processor, so there’s only one bowl to clean .. not to mention they’re naturally sweetened with bananas and maple syrup. They're so nice to have on hand for quick and easy, feel-good snacks
Reading – Beneath a Scarlet Sky ( Stories from WW2 are some of my favorites )
Motivated – By a few really cool apps
Lose it! (Set a weight loss goal and the app will calculate a daily calorie budget for you to get there. You can also track your food with its huge database)
Motivation ( Motivating, wise words from everyone from Albert Einstein to Gandhi pop up on your phone throughout the day)
Map My Walk (Track and map every walk)
Excited – For my husband's birthday. It's been fun planning a bit of a getaway
Held Hostage – Vegetables(!)
We share a garden with two other friends/neighbors. One couple whose parents own the land, another who plans and plants, and me who's in charge of the weeding. This week, I laid the last piece of straw from the hay bale (1000 pounds). Word came that someone was terribly out of sorts
“But my zucchinis, they were just getting big, and what about the tomato plants I've been nursing along? The parsnip seeds are going to need to be watered. Oh no, can't it be worked out?”
Alas, there's always the farmers market
Practicing (and re-practicing) – Kindness
From the time we're little, we're taught to be kind (yet sensible). How to help others, but still be smart. Don’t be a doormat .. or let yourself be taken advantage of. If you go out on a limb, you just might fall right out of the tree
This year there'd been rumblings of discontent about the garden. Words muttered under their breath. A tension that hung in the air
I'd simply kept my head down and gone about my work. The hot afternoons spent in sunshiny solitude lost in thought and listening to podcasts. Muddy shoes, sunscreen, and a hoe were always in my trunk
We are taught that kindness requires a certain reaction and that our efforts will be rewarded. Cause and effect. If this, then that.
We're taught that kindness is a game with an agreed-upon set of rules. A grateful reaction deserves additional kindness, anything less is an unworthy recipient of our generosity
This week, someone I was really looking forward to seeing came to town. As the days passed by, I waited to hear, “Can we still get together?”
“Leaving in the morning; so very sorry.”
The sting of being an afterthought, how familiar it all feels by now. You fight back a tear as your husband walks in the door
“I'll give you a call; we'll catch up.”
You realize the call will never come
We're taught that offering kindness is a delicate waltz. Don’t do anything to offend. Don’t hurt anyone's pride. Save face. Be nonchalant. Always keep your cool. Never let them see you cry
We're taught that it must be rationed somehow on the deserving parties. We are taught that it must be strategic, well thought out and very much controlled
“Maybe someone will bring you a few of your vegetables?”
“No,” I say. “It's really ok. My only wish is for everyone to simply get along.”
We're taught that kindness is braking for bunnies, smiling at a stranger, holding a door for someone who's elderly. Random acts. Small, unassuming, protected, and sensible
What we've been taught is wrong
There is nothing sensible about kindness.
Kindness is not offering to make gardens beautiful for everyone to enjoy.
Kindness is not offering to make things nice for someone else when there's little regard for how they've made you feel
Kindness is instead, offering ourselves
We've forgotten this, but our children (and grandchildren) know. My grandson was always offering me his favorite things. His innocent way of saying, “I see you. I love you.”
That's the thing about kindness. It's really a gift of connection and a generous offering of ourselves. We can choose to do it daily, in measures both small and large. We can give a lighter load to someone else .. we can give “next times” and grace
We can give a little, or we can give a lot.
We can be cautious in the name of protection, in the name of being smart. Or we can offer the whole of ourselves, again and again, and again ..
in the name of love
Featured Photo Credit: Instagram – @emilyblincoe