Thunk, thunk, thunk. The practiced motions of chopping vegetables calms me.
From my vantage point at the kitchen counter I can see the bird feeders that we put out this year. The dual suet feeder seems to be most popular and is sometimes barelyvisible underneath the covering of soft gray birds jockeying for the best position to feed. The longer thistle feeder is popular with the finches; they flit from the branches of the laurel bushes to the perch on the feeder. Miniature flocks of finches dancing for my entertainment while I chop vegetables.
Something has shifted within me that I can appreciate the moment; the sound of my knife on the cutting board as I chop carrots; the avian dance outside of my window; the movement of my arms as I grind pet vitamins in my newly-purchased mortar and pestle.
I have wanted a mortar and pestle for years. There is something about it that seems so basic, so earthy, so timeless. An ancient tool still in use to grind herbs and seeds should we care to take the time. Like the thunk, thunk, thunk of my knife hitting the cutting board, the slow grinding satisifes something within me.
I spent some time this morning poking around in a used book store; it is a teausre of a place I just discovered. Two books came home with me: May Sarton’s Journal of Solitude and The Beacon Book of Quotations by Women.
“I feel too much, sense too much, am exhausted by the reverberations after even the simplest conversation.” says Sarton on the second page of the journal. She writes what I feel more often these days; I will enjoy reading her journal.
“I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming that comes when you finish the life of emotions and of personal realtions; and suddenly find – at the age of fifty, say – that a whole new life has opened before you…” Agatha Christie is quoted as saying in the Beacon book. She echos my sentiments.
This morning I read a simple haiku posted by Susan Tweit on Facebook: “In praise of small things/fresh smell of sun-dried laundry/stacked firewood, home.” It was accompanied by a simple photograph of laundry hanging on a clothes line. That photograph has flitted in and out of my mind throughout the day.
Once upon a time I was a young mother who spent many hours in the kitchen. I made baby food from scratch, preserved bounty from my garden, and was content. I think of the young woman I once was more often these days. I had little money and circumstances were not what I wished they were, but in the midst of turmoil I found fulfillment in simplicity.
Today, I long to leave the corporate track for a simpler life where time spent in the kitchen is a pleasure, like it was for me today, and not a chore like it has seemed for too many years.
My path has been winding, the road often rocky, but it seems I have come full-circle in my quest for fulfillment.