**cross posted from my blog, Semi-Farmed Kind of Life**
The last few weeks here, like the weather, have been dreary, stormy and tumultuous. Although there is plenty to be excited and hopeful about in terms of our home, yard and garden, the part of my life that helps me pay for these dreams of dirt and chickens has been a bit wacky. I'm trying to remain fairly zen about the whole experience and to practice mindfulness in the midst of all this chaos, but it is exhausting in an unpleasant sort of way, not in the good way that physical or creative work is. This is soul-draining, and I am so thankful for the good friends and positive folks who have made the time to nurture and encourage me through this.
A monk and author I greatly admire, Thich Nhat Hahn, once wrote about how blame doesn't help us in situations like this, that are volatile and full of pain. He said that when you plant lettuce and it doesn't grow, you don't blame the lettuce but instead look for reasons it isn't doing well, but when we have problems with other people, we blame the other person. This isn't really helpful and neither are reasoning or arguing. All we need is a little understanding and compassion. He says that if we show we understand and nurture each other, things will thrive and grow and change, like lettuce will if we care for it. We should cultivate seeds of love and peace in one another, rather than feeding the seeds of anger and violence that can choke out the good things in our life like so many weeds.
Like the one in my yard, the garden of my soul sure needs some tending, so as I wait for the rain to pass and the challenges of my job to work themselves out (however that may happen), I've been focusing all my efforts on meditation, my family, and changing my mindset to one where uncertainty can be an opportunity for positive change. You know, the "when one door closes, another opens" thought process. Though you can't tell here on the blog, I've been doing a lot of writing lately, but mostly in the form of query letters and cover letters. Maybe this is a chance to do what I believe in and not just what pays the bills. Who knows. Like mother birds do to their babies, sometimes the universe kind of kicks us out of our nests to move us forward. I know I'm not just plummeting toward the ground, so I'll enjoy the ride.
April has brought a tremendous amount of showers to us here in northeast Ohio. Once the floods subside in my mind and my yard, it's time to start growing! Our small fortune in seeds arrived the other day and UPS says my box of blue potatoes is arriving today some time. I'm very excited to see them and even more so to taste them! This Thursday I'll be going to hear a speaker from the blog Ohio Bites at a local library talk about his family's adventures in local eating and perhaps I'll run into an old childhood neighbor who works there. I'll post some pictures for you folks tomorrow of our technicolor dream veggies to be, and, if the rain will hold off a little while, maybe I'll prepare the small beds by the front door while I prepare my heart for any other changes I might face.