Fruits of my labors today included not only abundant garden produce, but calm, compassion, and other mindfulness skills I’m learning to practice. When the contrary chimney sweep came today, I was determined to meet him with compassion in my heart, no matter how he triggered me. It was hard. He arrived more than an hour early, and when I answered the door wearing a mask, he whined like a teenage boy, “Do I really have to wear a mask?” From there it went downhill. In the next few minutes I couldn’t say a thing without him challenging me. I parried a few attacks with good cheer, but before long offered him the opportunity to leave if he’d rather not be here. Eventually I said with an even, pleasant tone, “I’m curious why you’re so contrary.”
After that he calmed down. I went into the bathroom to breathe, I went into the pantry to breathe. I offered him some fresh tomatoes to take home. Eventually, I sat on the stairs and chatted with him as he cleaned the stove. He actually chuckled. It was a successful application of meeting a challenging person with compassion and curiosity, instead of resisting his demeanor and shutting down from the triggered trauma of being baited. Even when he cheered the killing of wolves, I simply sat quietly looking at my hands until he went back up on the roof. All in all, it was a very successful harvest of the fruits of my mindfulness practice, for which I am supremely grateful.
Tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers and basil dominated the top layer of the harvest basket, while the second layer revealed the dwindling harvest of cucumbers and green beans as well as more cherry tomatoes. I still can’t use the sink, and the day was filled with other obligations anyway, but tomorrow will bring another canning session, with or without a drain: the harvest can’t wait.
One of the brandywines, sliced for a sandwich, along with lettuce-leaf basil, bacon, and mayo. Have I mentioned that I’m grateful for mayonnaise?