Tuesday, May 21, 2013

PAUSING TO BREATHE IN THE SCENTS OF SPRING



I’m feeling light as air this evening. The weather is soft and kind, with showers every once in awhile to keep us moist and the scents of flowers heavy as I walk down the streets. The tall magnificent chestnut trees on Henry Street have all their candles out – tall spikes of white flowers touched with pink, that lightly perfume the air. I have walked under them for years, but this evening for the first time I reached way up to a bottom branch and took the liberty of breaking off one tall candle of a flower. So lovely. I sniffed at it as I walked on up the street and then discovered that my cheeks and chin were smeared with golden pollen.

The sky was smeared with tangerine and golden pinks as I walked past the lovely open space of King’s College Circle this evening after my second Foods that Changed the World class, this on eon wheat and rice. I must get out at dusk more often I caught myself thinking. It’s a time of mystery and promise, especially on a warm mild night.

My lightness is about the beauty of everything at this time of year, but also because I’ve passed through another portal, the Cilician Gates of income tax prep, for this year. Why does it weigh so heavily? Is it the feeling of being called to account? Or is it just the idea that someone is looking over our shoulder? Or is it a basic fear and dislike of numbers, addings-up, and organising tedious paper? Whatever…

I pulled together my records and typed things out on four or five pages. It all seemed to make sense to the wonderful Ian, who does my taxes every year. This time, because everything needs to be translated into Canadian dollars, my first page started with a listing of the exchange rates of US dollars, British pounds, Australian dollars, Burmese kyat, and Thai baht…. It all brings a touch of faraway into the tedium of accounting.  Anyhow, I am delighted to have done with this stage. Yes!

Now I just need to get peppers and tender herbs into my garden, and maybe some cucumbers. I've been eating dandelion greens, asparagus, sorrel, chives, and other herbs, for awhile now. Each bite is so renewing somehow, still full of life because fresh-picked. 

And there is also work to be done, pleasurable most of it. For example I need to be ready for the last four sessions of Foods that Changed the World.  The class is great, lively interested students of all kinds.  Next week is olives and olive oil; peanut and peanut oil. It will take us from the Mediterranean to Peru and Senegal, and to Vietnam too. I so enjoy engaging with food ideas and with the world through food What a privilege to be able to teach it to engaged students.

And now with heavy eyelids it’s time for me to head upstairs to bed. I’m hoping to sleep the sleep of the just, with the heaviest of my deadlines now over with. I’m still not clear why tax accounting weights so heavily, nor why it should come in the spring, when otherwise everything feels so wonderfully optimistic.

I hope you too have the opportunity to stop and smell the flowers this week. It’s a good time to be mindful, for this full moon (May 24 or 25) is celebrated as Buddha’s Birthday, a huge holiday in Thailand and in Tibet, among others. Let’s have that sense of new life and beauty springing forth ignite our feelings of optimism and our energies. Enjoy the light and all the fresh new life that’s emerging and blooming…

2 comments:

Shalini Roy said...

I came away from your class engaged, hopeful, happy, and brimming with ideas. Thank you!

Shalini Roy said...

I came away from last night's class on wheat and rice with a sense of happiness. I was engaged and ready, brimming with new ideas. Too bad it is for such a short time!