". . . that detail outside ourselves that brings us to ourselves, was here before us, knew we would come, and see beyond us." -Adrienne Rich
Last week I had a moment when I laid my wavering faith down on the dining room table, wrapped my hands around my warm cup in prayer, and grilled my god. I was mad. I was scared. For a dear friend, for Baltimore, Nepal. For the world. What is fair, I demanded to know. Why so much injustice? So there in sunlight and silence I waited, and waited some more. And in the moment, no real epiphany came to me, no bright light. But there in the middle of fear and anger and sadness was quiet.
I garden all morning long. My toes are painted with dirt. I spray them down with the hose in the greening grass studded with dandelions. Right there I see light.
Sully wakes in the night and screams out for me in terror. Voldemort has taken over his imagination - day and night - going on two months now. I crawl into his bed and pull him to me. His forehead is damp, his eyes are wild. I can tell him that Voldemort is not real with assurance and fact. But I waiver when he asks me to promise him that we will always be safe and fine.
My boys get home from school and I hug on them and kiss the tops of their sweaty heads. These are promises I can keep. Here, there is love and light. I am giving the absolute truth.
I go to yoga. My teacher says, today we will find the sweet life force. We will soften. We will sweeten. The light of hope seeps in.
I go to the garden and farm store and walk the rows. It is a warm day, my winter-pale arms are blissfully bare. This is wonderful choice, I think to myself as I pick and choose perennials. This is some good light.
I divide lemon balm and black eyed susan's in my garden. I pull up cables of sweet mint and smile at the persistence of some things. By bike, Theo and I deliver plants and chocolate chip muffins to friends. Sunday things. Bright.
Later that same day, I see my friend on her porch. Her belly is full-term round with baby. Her left breast - the cancer - removed two days before. I look at her and see the most beautiful, luminous pillar of life. Goddess and strength.
In the quiet light falls upon what is real, scary, raw, beautiful. I think about light as love and doing the very best we can in the moment.
I'm getting it.
I'm getting it.
Chocolate Chip Muffins
(adapted from Huckleberry)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup plain whole yogurt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips, or chopped dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line one 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and salt until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Incorporate the eggs. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, yogurt, vanilla, and chocolate, just until incorporated.
Fill the muffin cups with batter all the way up to the top. Sprinkle the tops with a little dusting of coarse sugar.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the muffins are just brown.
Keep covered in an air-tight container for up to two days, or enjoy half the batch and deliver the other half to a friend.