On the wee hours of this morning I could be found ladling piping hot marmalade into the 32nd jar. Taking a deep breath of relief that the first four batches were complete. My culinary assistant had long since dozed off and the multiple cups of coffee were losing their power to keep my eyes open. One third of the citrus is soaking still waiting to be turned into gel. (A process that takes almost 2 hours.) My kitchen smelled so heavenly fresh and I do believe the temperature was above 80° for once. I believe I would like to keep a jam pot constantly bubbling now! Thank you to my dear new Zealand friend and her mum for the gift of her delightful recipe.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
With the church program and Christmas shopping behind me, my days have been anchored to the farm here. I have been working slowly but surely, trying to take care of the majority of things before Winter descends upon the valley in earnest and I fly off to celebrate the new year in Bolivia.
I have found homes for all the kittens, laid in a small store of feed, tried to shut up the barn against the cold southern wind, and trying to anticipate any needs that could arise while I am in the southern hemisphere. Of late the mornings find me shuffling through papers, finances and checking in with my fitness group. I should read the stack of books that kind friends have lent me and have probably despaired of ever seeing again. Still when I sit down to read I feel restless and unfocused, like I should be doing something instead of just sitting here relaxing into the pages of unrealistic fantasies. It is about the same when I have time off, like I should be rushing about doing something, anything.
The very stillness I once treasured now seems to haunt me. The saying "you are who you are when you are all alone" has echoed relentlessly in my mind especially in the past 3 months. On the flip side of the coin, constant solitude interrupted only periodically can cause you to dwell on yourself too much and you must fight to achieve balance so you do not become bitter and cynical. Strengths and flaws equally reveal themselves in the moments of silence. I have found that even when I am out amongst people the camaraderie and sense of belonging evade me. I have never invested in the social circle, always too busy working and I now find that my efforts to blend in are fruitless. Embracing what sets me apart, I sit back and contemplatively study the people and events that surround me. I watch the world go by, they do not realize what they miss when they are constantly chasing what the do not have. While it is commendable to pursue dreams and ambitions, they fail to find the peace and solid foundation that is found in the quiet moments of examination and self discovery.