mingling

Everything is starting to mingle. Hot days mingling with cold nights make the mist we walk through on our way to the trail. The falling leaves are beginning to mingle with the ground and water in creative ways, a foreshadowing of the blanket of color that will follow.

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The order of things is shifting and even at home, I feel lifetimes mingling as I sort and pack and clear spaces that have held a certain energy for the past hundred and sixty years. The process of strategizing this move is exciting and exhausting at the same time. I can feel synapses firing at record speed, trying to stay ahead of the edge of ‘unsettled’ that is upon me, all the while staying open to what is most important to move forward with, unburdened by leaving behind items that no longer serve.

The thing is, everything has or is a memory to process in this place. Making the time to acknowledge and accept is hard for me. Even though I am coming to experience that the time factor with any one aspect of the moving puzzle of this move is an illusion, it is also the most important ‘project’ I have right now and I am wired to bring it to enough of a successful conclusion so I can shift gears to the next priority. Architecture and yoga and quilt-making and writing and cooking have all taken on supporting roles in this. It is the knowing that I will commit with equal vigor to one of these other equally important endeavors when enough of this project is complete that allows me to settle into the unsettling nature of where I am.

Eating a hearty breakfast each day has become a necessity. My current favorite is a blueberry oat pancake. Even here there is a mingling of so many influences. This particular combination embodies the memory of mornings on the farm in the Berkshires with Richard when he would make his famous oat pancake in anticipation of vigorous physical activity, of fresh baked goods with wild blueberries picked at the bungalow colony we spent summers at as a family when the kids were young, and of happy morning after breakfasts out with Scott that always includes pancakes. Just the aroma of oatmeal evokes early mornings spent in quiet conversation with my father while he eats a bowl of oat bran or oatmeal with apples, cinnamon and walnuts. Making this oat pancake now clearly carries the energy of a kind of masculine support that I cherish. It also seems to be balancing the physical strength of female support received these past weeks, where all the moving of stuff from attic and garage and bedrooms has been possible with the help of dear women in my life. I don’t know what it means, or even if it has to mean something. I’m just noticing.

I put my small six inch cast iron skillet on the stove. Measure a heaping one third cup of whole organic oats into a bowl and mix with an equal amount of warm water. Whisk together one egg with two tablespoons milk (I use coconut milk and/or creme if I have it) Add scant one quarter cup flour (I use a mixture of half nut flour half whole wheat pastry flour- currently it is cashew flour, and keep the mixture in a jar in the refrigerator) to the oatmeal and a generous pinch of baking powder and cinnamon to taste. Add egg mixture and stir until smooth. Let sit at least five minutes.   Add a handful of blueberries (I put them in frozen most of the time), heat butter in the pan on medium high. Pour entire contents of bowl into pan.

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Cook until firm enough to flip. Turn down heat and cook until done. Add butter and maple syrup.

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It really is so good, so satisfying, and holds back hunger for hours.

Walking along, I realize that the order created by the consistent mingling of dog and human out on the trail with Nora all these months must also be sorted through. Nora has made many friends and it does my heart good to see her romping and even sharing a quiet moment of drinking from the brook with them.

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Some of these friends we will invite into our new life, others we will never see again.

I’ve just finished my pancake breakfast and am fueled for the next round. Each room in the house is now a disarray of furniture moved aside, piles in the center of the floor, and boxes being filled. The work of vetting memories will continue with each unfolding of a bedspread or card that falls out of a book as I anticipate the ongoing mingling of past, present, and future in these full days ahead.

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