I’m grateful for all the pollinators. I haven’t even cracked the manual for the new camera, and the current lens won’t give me the crystal clarity of the macro lens on the old camera, but I’ll get there eventually. Meanwhile, playing around with it this morning I caught a few pollinators doing their thing. Imagine where we’d be without them! So grateful for pollinators, and the fruits of their labors.
I’m grateful for the 4000 species of native bees in North America, and the dozens that forage and nest in my yarden. They’re responsible for pollinating about three-quarters of all our food plants, but their very existence is not well known to the general public. I didn’t know about them until I started raising and photographing honeybees, and paying attention to all the other pollinators I discovered through my camera lens. There aren’t nearly as many individual bees or bee species in the garden this summer, making me cherish them all the more. You can learn to identify and plant for native bees with the Wild Bee ID app put out by the Center for Food Safety, and enjoy some of my better photos while you’re at it.
Literally (I don’t see enough of them, as a night owl) and metaphorically: sunrise on the next phase of this unpredictable journey through life. I’m grateful for another amazing day of retreat, and for the accomplishment of certification as a mindfulness teacher. So much gratitude!
I’m grateful for all ten feet that enable Stellar and Topaz and me to walk through the woods most every morning. After visiting the Survivor, whom we haven’t been to see in a couple of months, we came home and rested by the pond, where they both drank and I meditated.
I’m grateful today and every day for awareness of death. The mindfulness program I’m getting certified to teach in encourages us to consider three thoughts upon waking each morning:
We have an incredible life with opportunities and leisure that many others do not have.
Life is impermanent – death is certain and the time of death uncertain.
What is meaningful to you now, and at the time of death, what will be important to you? Is it all the things in your life, or is it how you responded to life?
Much of my life has been both hampered and motivated by fear of my own death, which has kept me from doing some things and colored my perceptions of others. Yet it’s also occasionally moved me to make courageous and fulfilling choices, knowing that life is short and I could die any minute. Between the wisdom of age and the Mindful Life Program I now have a healthier relationship with death. The knowledge that I’ll die someday, as will everyone I love, as will we all, death being an ineluctable feature of living, is no longer a motivation solely for big decisions like should I choose this school, should I move from this town, leave this job, should I buy this land, take this trip…. Awareness of death now shapes my values and informs my daily decisions, helping me choose wisely where to place my attention moment to moment.
I’m grateful for the teachers and students who have helped me explore the three thoughts over the past year, and for the delightful mug that was given to me today to remind me with every sip of morning coffee that death can be a friend and ally rather than a foe.
I’m grateful today for things that come back year after year, perennials. In the wild woods, these delicate native penstemons, P. comarrhenus, grow sparsely out of bare ground. Another name for them is dusty penstemon, which (this year anyway) captures the essence of their endemic range in the Colorado plateau and canyonlands of the southwest. I stumbled upon this one on the breakfast loop this morning; the flower spike seemed to have grown and blossomed within just a couple of days.
In the garden I’m grateful for perennial onions, which not only keep growing where they’re planted year after year, they also self-sow prodigiously. I started my patch with a small clump someone gave me, and they provide scallions and leek-type onions year after year. The bees love their flowers, and I can harvest the roots from early spring into winter. This year I’ve had to pull out my original nursery patch to make room for another crop, but I’ll keep mine going with a row along the back of the whole east bed. Now I’ve got a big box of perennial onions looking for new homes. If you’d like a clump to start your own endless onions, let me know right away. Otherwise, I’ll just chop and freeze them, but I probably won’t get to that until Saturday afternoon or Sunday. I’m also grateful, of course, for my little Topaz.
Free to good homes, there are enough perennial onions here to start half a dozen new gardens. Or fill my freezer; your choice 🙂
I stopped into Farm Runners last Saturday to pick up some mushrooms, they have lovely fresh shiitake and oyster mushrooms. Nearby in the cooler were a few packs of quail eggs. Quail eggs! Never have I ever. So I grabbed (carefully) a package, knowing I’d come up with something to do with them for Boyz Lunch.
A dear friend ended up coming by on Monday so I made her a burrito with smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and mushrooms, with fresh wild asparagus on the side, and tested the timing for a soft-boiled quail egg. I’m grateful that Farm Runners also offers these 12-inch tortillas (a foot wide!), that I had Bad Dog Ranch happy-chicken eggs, homemade hot sauce, and that neighbor Mary gave me a big bunch of wild asparagus when I passed her out picking on my way to town. I’m grateful that Nancy came for lunch and a walk and a heartfelt talk, and let me experiment on her palate.
So for Boyz Lunch today, I boiled the remaining quail eggs (for two minutes), then scooped them into ice water to stop the cooking. A couple of them floated on top, and I recalled that with chicken eggs that means they might be bad, so I pulled those out early, and later fed them to Stellar, shells and all, after cracking them open: they smelled fine, and he was almost as ecstatic as Philip and John were when I served them this starter plate.
Above and beyond the culinary delights of this day, I’m grateful for good friends old and new, for great neighbors, for all the opportunities, connections, and experiences in this singular day that will never come again; grateful to have waked up alive, made the most of the day, and be heading to my cozy, clean bed right now.
Grateful for another Wednesday, to wake in the morning, make meaningful connections throughout the day with people human and otherwise, and come to the end of it still alive, free of regret, filled with contentment for the simple joys of a regular Wednesday.