Today marks the seventh day of my gratefulness journal — my year of grace — and the second week since I began writing down three things to be grateful for everyday. I had no other goal save for writing down my thoughts. Previous to this writing exercise, my thoughts of thanks and on thankfulness have remained just where they came from. I have found that the act of writing has created some sort of effect. There is something about seeing my thoughts in tangible form. The word made flesh, to borrow an expression from the holy ancients. Perhaps this is one aspect of the power of the pen; in this case the keyboard. Thoughts given substance and a framework have given my often random thoughts a sort of order. And order out of chaos is one aspect of creativity, and if we read the Holy Book, then an aspect of Divine Creation as well. Seeing my thoughts take shape from day to day as I write them down, without any planning on what to write, has calmed me down, has created a space of stillness within and a clearer perspective as well.
Yesterday I had planned on tending to the garden. I have seedlings that need to be transferred to the ground. But the weather had other plans. It rained most of the day. Although I could not carry out what I had planned, I am truly grateful for the steady, gentle rain, because some plants have been showing signs of needing watering lately. I have also moved some lavender plants that had not been happy living with what is known here as “coca-cola bush,” though I prefer the old English name “Lad’s Love” for Artemisia abrotanum var. maritima. The lavender and new plantings of sage also need watering to settle them in during their early days. The garden hose does not reach all the way to where these plants are, and I have been carrying a heavy watering can up a slope, making several trips to water them. I am thankful and overjoyed not to have had to do this yesterday.
Confined indoors by the rain, I was grateful to have been able to do a spot of baking. There was a pot of plums that I’ve been boiling down, the plums had come from the garden of a dear friend and were sufficiently sweet not to need too much additional sugar. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, since March this year I’ve cut down on wheat and refined sugar, as well as refined seed oils, as recommended by Perfect Health Diet authors Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet. I created my own recipe for plum and marzipan muffins using ground almonds and buckwheat instead of wheat flour, and used a fruit spread made from boiled down pears, apples, and dates for the sugar. The ready-prepared marzipan is already sweet (and unfortunately has refined sugar, but I won’t quibble) so that in total I used only 2 tablespoons of the fruit spread. I am always apprehensive when I substitute ingredients in baking recipes: baking is applied chemistry and the correct proportions matter a great deal in the outcome. I am sooo grateful that my experiment turned out fine and tasted great as well.
I was able to share my new creation with friends who had invited me for dinner, once again because of the rain. We had planned on going for a walk in the afternoon, but the rain changed our plans. Instead my friend suggested if I didn’t have other plans, that I join them instead for their evening meal. I was grateful to be among convivial company with lovingly created food, among them Saltimbocca Romana with fresh sage leaves from their garden. I was happy too to see their grandchild looking so charming and beautiful and beginning to talk. He even learned to say my name. And we had the plum muffins as additional dessert.
I am thankful that the rain made my day!