Friday, August 12, 2011

steak and storage containers

Writers, myself included, have a tendency to use storms as a word picture for dark and trying times.  Yesterday that was not the case for me because yesterday in my little town, for the first time in months the heavens opened up with the most glorious rainstorm of my life.  To say that the land around here is dry would be the understatement of the year.  To give you an understanding of just how dry it is:  our grass is dead, our pond is almost completely dry, no one has been able to grow a tomato in our county and the dirt is so dry that its cracking the water mains and leaving thirsty people without water.  The average rainfall for our town in July is around 8 inches, last month we got .5 inches.  I have never experienced a summer that has left me hotter or thirstier than this one.  
Yesterdays storm rolling into our backyard

Yesterday morning when the sun rose it came without scorching heat but grey clouds that rumbled in the distance.  As I watched the storm approach I opened all the shades covering the bay windows in our dining "nook" and the kids and I watched it all roll in.  As the drops blew against our windows I swear I felt quenched on a soul level.

My mind kept conjuring images of dry plants busting open with big beautiful flowers and of dry ground popping up blades of thick green grass.  As I stood there in my kitchen, coffee in hand, I realized that the quenching had been happening for the past little while, the much needed moisture soaking through me and causing seeds to sprout.

I have had experiences with a few friends lately that have reminded me of who I really am and ways in which I had forgotten to bloom.  

Last weekend we went to our friends Joley and Jason's for a cookout and before we had a chance to change her into her suit, my two year old got into the kiddie pool and then rolled in the dirt.  There was no salvaging her clothes and when it came time to wrestle her back into the house we had to opt to cross-dress her in some of their son's clothes.  When we went into his bedroom for boy clothes I noticed Joley's meticulously organized closets and I was simultaneously depressed and jealous.  They were lined with storage bins and drawers, which were both labeled and full of folded clothes.  I used to work at an organization store and in a past life would drool over a good shelving or filing system.  When I saw Joley's closets the dry seeds of my love for organization got watered.

Then earlier this week I visited my friend Sarah for our first play date/lunch at her house.  Her house is beyond gorgeous and she has the most amazing style which is sort of vintage meets shabby chic.  To top it off she made a phenomenal salad for lunch complete with roasted chicken, kalamatta olives, feta and homemade balsamic dressing.  She also introduced me to lemon water with a sprig of rosemary in it.  Sarah is an amazingly sweet person and she's also kinda fancy.  As I sipped my herbed water and admired her antique bird scones I was reminded that I used to like being kinda fancy too.  My evenings used to be cloth napkins and new recipes and I used to enjoy artisan cheeses and home decor magazines.  Somewhere along the way that part of me got so thirsty that it went dormant, but that afternoon on Sarah's couch those seeds got a little water too.  

So because of these two encounters with my friends, this week  was just a little different.  Yesterday I hauled out some plastic storage containers and organized my spice drawer as well as all my crafty stuff.  And tonight for dinner we will be enjoying seared steaks topped with mushrooms and rosemary butter and served beside vanilla bean whipped sweet potatoes and roasted corn on the cob.  I'm doing this because I am a little bit organized and a little bit fancy and when I let those parts of me bloom I am a whole lot happier.  

Please enjoy the bold and beautiful colors of my organized spice drawer.  It's okay to be a little jealous.
Along the way parts of us get dry and usually it takes interacting with someone who is blooming in an area we let shrivel to make us realize how thirsty we are for something.  So perhaps today you are thirsty for something small like organized drawers and herbed butter or maybe you are thirsting for something a much more important like God and connection.  Don't let another day go by where you choose to stay parched, turn the hose on your life and be the vividly stunning person God planted you to be.  

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