you asked me what rest looks like. today it looks like this:
it feels like sitting on a log.
it smells like smoke
and tastes like burnt sugar.
it sounds like nothing. and everything.
it looks like trees, and the sky, and the damp brown grass.
it feels like this breeze on my cheek.
it looks like work at times – lifting and moving and then… rest.
this. this is what i am craving
what i find so hard to find each day.
the calm so palpable you can hear the fire die down and then awake.
and it helps that it is warm.
that i am dry.
but this. this undivided focus – of stoking a fire. collecting sap. sitting while the water drifts away, becomes sweet air.
this cycle – from the watery sky to the deep roots of earth up to these maple leaves and then out drop by gently drop. and now, as the old tree burns and water returns to the sky – this cycle begins again. and we taste the rich fruit of this labour that is really rest.
simple. and alive.
and i know that this summer will not be all rest. it will be work. good work though.
i once said to someone “i am in my glory when i am feeding people” and it is true.
here with my family – i just want to make sure everyone is fed. packing lunches. making snacks. catering parties. even with my housemates – it makes me so happy to get someone a tea or send them off with their lunch.
and this summer – i get to feed 50 tired hungry bodies. and it will be work. really hard work. but man, i am so excited to be outside. so excited to nourish. and maybe even to nurture.
someone told me that the cooks are the maternal figures at the camp – and that made me so happy! because, even though i don’t have kids – my instinct to ‘take care’ is a strong force (strong enough, i hope, to pull me out of bed at 3am to make eggs and oatmeal – but again, those are 2 of my favourite things -what a gift!?)
so today, as spring pokes its nose from slumber. as the sap runs freely. as the snow recedes from sight – i am resting. soaking it all in. hoping my skin will carry this peace like my jacket absorbs the smoky air.
and you… what would Tired look like if she was your friend? what stories would she tell? what would she be proud of? what would she plead with you to change???
soon! seeing you…
& with much love
4 thoughts on “spring’s slumber”
Ruthi, Your words mirror so much of what is me. As I write this, I too have a pan of sap boiling outside my kitchen door. When I went to collect sap one day and I noticed there wasn’t much, I felt a wee complain grumbling inside me and then a light zapped me; I nearly fell on my knees in my eagerness to thank these dear trees that leak out this stuff that has this incredibly sweet potent centre! How could I have been so crass as to want more? And my own sausage and the sauerkraut I made last fall are simmering away on the stove and the noodles I just made with the eggs from the hens I’ve been feeding are waiting to be boiled. And I’m not rushing the spring because true enough, it will be the start of much much work. And until I get back into it, it feels a touch onerous. Thanks so much for your writing.
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oh thank you for your words julene! i continue to be so amazed at the process! as the sap boiled down, i remarked to my nephew how amazing it all was and he replied “ya, nature is like one of the most amazing things in the universe” — truly 🙂 i miss sharing a kitchen with you and Irian!
Thanks for this Ruthie…the crews you will feed body and soul will indeed be blest crews!
(i love your ‘sap’ poem… and the intro to your memoir! your writing journey is inspiring!) xoxo