The Essential Ingredient

My mood is like a lung – the in and out of it.

Some days it’s all like nails down a blackboard – screeching and impossible.  It’s the sheer amount of work to be done. Cooking, schooling, cleaning, chickens, garden, shopping… it rolls on and on, ignoring the arms of the clock.  Imagine if I had a paid job too.  How does that even work?

Last night I attended a P&C meeting.  A kaleidoscope of stories unfolded – nothing very specific or haunting, but an awareness of the general hesitancy.  Nobody can act with confidence. Play a bit, pause!  Play a bit, pause!  Everything is being rearranged, rethought, reinvented, revised.  It highlighted that this release of strictures is not the beginning of the end of COVID19.  It is just the end of the first beginning.

Other days, I feel secure in my little unit of the world.  The cockatoos feed on acorns and gumnuts at the end of our street.  As I drive toward them, they fly up, impossibly white and unusually silent.  Just the swish, swish of all those wings.  A grin on my face.  My window is open.  My car is silent.  The sky is blue.

Our family of four eat dinner together and (with a reminder from P) I tell our daughter a joke from a movie I started watching last night:

How do you make a tissue dance?

Just put a little boogie in it.

Her laughter is loud and infectious.   Simple.

The kids will go back to school soon and things will be more “normal”. But it’s a normal hanging on a hook that’s too small for the weight.  How long will it hold?

Tonight, I read an article from Elle by a Japanese American woman. Marie Mutsuki Mockett’s mother was born during World War II when food was scarce.  Her grandmother eeked food from a small garden and foraged it from forests to keep herself and her children alive. Food was intrinsic to the way the family cared for each other.   I love this quote:

“Unlike so much in our lives that’s now transactional … the making of food is elemental. It makes the cells that constitute the body and keep us clinging to life. I wonder how many problems in the world can be attributed to this lack of understanding: To make food for others from start to finish is to follow through in our commitment to each other.”

It makes sense.  It makes sense of Mother’s Day.  It makes sense of my childhood.  It makes sense in isolation.  Nurture the garden, nurture the cooking pot, nurture the family.

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