flow

I finally decide to experiment again with the frozen squashes in the covered basket stored in the garage. I discovered a few weeks ago that the butternut squash wasn’t so delicious cooked after being frozen and thawed. But I haven’t tried the acorn squash yet, lift the blanket and grab the one on top. With the sub zero temperatures we have been experiencing, it’s no wonder it is frozen solid…

I cut it in half while still frozen and scoop out the seeds. It actually looks and smells much like it would if it wasn’t frozen. Hmmm. Instead of letting it thaw first, I turn on the oven to 350 degrees, rub all the fleshy surfaces with some olive oil, and put it in the oven to bake. When it is almost done, I turn off the oven and leave them to wait for some sort of filling I will make. Scanning the rows of jars on my counter, I randomly pick the millet and the french green lentils, put 1/4 cup each in a bowl and cover with water. It’s only 8:00 in the morning, so they will get to soak for many hours before cooking, something I have learned helps aid in the digestion of beans and grains immensely! I feel that twinge of excitement that comes with making all these choices spontaneously and quickly, which is always accompanied with the knowing that I am taking care of myself in every way.

I’m back in the flow, after what seems like months of being stuck in a sad lonely place. Many tears were shed during this time, as keeping the source of my sadness hidden only served to block the flow I so cherish. Is it a coincidence then that just a little over 24 hours ago, a heating pipe burst in my house, covering the floor of my home office with water and raining down to the basement? I was home alone, and luckily heard the characteristic whishing sound of rushing water as I walked through the living room before going to bed. What a shock to open the door to my office and see my beautiful round oriental rung completely submerged, and the line of water moving steadily toward the door. I could see the source of the leak, the water hissing and forcefully spewing in an unrelenting fashion from a single spot. I literally froze as my tears came up again, numb, incapable of any action. In that moment I felt like I was completely isolated and without support or resources, a very dark place indeed. And then sense arrived and I called the only person I felt comfortable burdening with this problem who was close enough physically to help, my neighbor and friend across the street. Not home. I even considered calling my ex-husband, but realized he was at the movies with our daughter, phones turned off. Water now crossing the threshold of the room and in a panic, I called the town’s emergency service. Within minutes the Fire Department arrived. Valves are turned off and advice given for getting the water cleaned up. After they leave, I use just about every towel in the house to mop up what I can, survey the mess, and decide to face it again in the morning. But first I called the heating company that services my home. The technician on call who answered the emergency line heard my story, and told me that they were all flat out with burst pipes and furnace issues due to this recent cold spell. His suggestion that they might not be able to take care of it right away sent me back to tears….

I wake early and the house is really cold now since there is no heat. I build my usual morning fire and huddle in front, mind whirling with all the what-if’s of how this will complicate my life and feel myself descend rapidly to that dark lonely place. But this time I can see it and know I have to reach out in my vulnerability. More importantly, I know I can reach out and that the support I need will come from doing just that, not in the result or response. It’s 6:00 in the morning and I send a heartfelt e-mail to a dear trusted friend with whom I’ve shared this dark place with before. And as I sit warming at the fire, I actually feel the thaw that precedes the flow starting again. The phone rings and it is my friend. It is a good conversation, filled with wise reflections and thoughts I can really hear and take in, with assurance that I too am being heard. Within minutes of hanging up, I call the heating company. They hear that I don’t have a relationship with a plumber I can call right now and re-arrange their schedule to send someone right over. He arrives in a half hour, helps me move furniture and soaked rugs, and proceeds to fix the pipe within a few hours. Water flowing and heat restored! He even takes the time to show me and my daughter where all the valves are in the basement should this happen again!

So it is now the next morning and the warm oven helps cut cold in the kitchen after plummeting temperatures again overnight. I go into my newly restored office and smile at the efficiency of effort I feel after so many months of struggle. I am noticing every little moment of synchronicity again, and the ease that follows. It is a brilliant sunny day and I revel in the brightness of the light. A little before lunchtime, I saute a chopped medium onion in a small pot with olive oil and spices; today it is cumin and Bragg sea kelp delight seasoning. Add the rinsed and drained millet and lentils and stir for a minute until coated. Add about 1-1/2 cups vegetable broth I find in the fridge and a little water and bring to a boil, partially cover, and simmer until grains and beans are soft. Take the cover off and turn up heat until excess liquid is cooked off and mixture is pudding like. Add a tablespoon dry sherry and some salt. Cover and let sit to cool a bit. I divide the cooled mixture and mound into each squash half. It is so much food, more than enough for two, easy to wrap the other half and set aside for another meal. I think about my friend’s advice. To consider the possibility of consciously putting the darkness aside while focusing on the relationship to the emergency in front of me right now. I realize it is too much to negotiate my fears AND face an emergency at the same time. I can consider making a conscious choice to set one aside instead of hiding it. And I realize the flow I feel now is the magic that has resulted from a hidden block finally bursting free to make room for a different way. The fear of that lonely place is still there, it simply flows alongside now in direct relationship to the joy of the day…

I put the filled squash into a 375 degree oven to heat thoroughly, and cover with chopped fresh mint and parsley after transferring to a bowl…

P1110720

It is a wonderful meal; tasty, warm, colorful, satisfying, filling, grounding, and reminiscent of the light, serendipitous flow of the day…

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