Thursday, June 26, 2008

Monsoon Gifts

Crash! Flash! Boom! Rumble! Oh yes, here it comes indeed! Monsoons have arrived! The day broke clear and warm, but last nights moisture quickly increased the humidity in the air, and clouds were building by 11 am. By 1 pm the sky was dark and the temperature dropping. Now at 3, the lightning is flashing all around, the thunder is crashing, making the windows tremble. I listen to the music of rain pelting the tin awning by the front door, and now the smack of pebble sized hail bouncing off the ground. I ran outside when the rain started to put out every pot I own to catch the water. Makes me wish I had a rain catchment system!! Need to do some research on how to do that cheaply. My botanist friend has one on her house. Could I just rig a trash can up on the roof with a drain pipe leading to a can down below?
Oh, my roof leaks! I just turned around to a funny noise behind me. A crack in the wood beam ceiling is leaking onto the carpet. Put a pan out to catch it. Water is flowing down the road in a deep stream.
This is monsoon! This is home. How could I ever have doubted? Almost makes me wonder why I ever left? I accomplished my goal in Colorado, but it was so bad for me spiritually to be there. I hardly ever got outside, didn’t have time to make medicine, or even cook properly in a too crowded and messy kitchen. It ate at me, but I just tried to push through it, knowing the end would come.

I drove into Tucson a month ago, within 3 days I found a place to live, my partner found a source of income, and I ran into someone I knew almost every day. Though I’ve been gone over a year, the people I knew welcomed me back with open arms. The community here was so giving. Friends and acquaintances alike showed their support for both my fiancee’s and my personal endeavors. (He, as a yoga teacher, and myself as an herbalist). Now we both are making things happen. He’ll start teaching beginning yoga classes on July 1st at a local Dojo where he once was an Aikido student. (Wow, that was a close lightning burst! Made me jump!) (oh, I think I saw that one hit the ground in front of the house!)
I’ve already had a few consultations, for herbs, nutrition, and flower essences, and I’ve already given one wonderful plant walk with another scheduled for three weeks from now ( July 19, 8-1 High elevation- contact me to register by July 15).

(Oh yes! It is downpouring again! Oh yes!)

Not only that, but people have been more than kind and giving, we’ve received numerous donations of food, and I’ve managed to sell enough tinctures to JUST be able to pay my bills for the month.

This return has been a lesson in abundance. I’ve been “unemployed” now for a month and half, with no source of regular income, and spent nearly every penny I had to get here, and get into house. But, with diligent attention to NOT freaking out about it, being frugal, and doing what I CAN, I’ve managed to be taken care of in every way I’ve needed. What a gift.

Funny thing, I had little time and energy while in Colorado to make good meals very often (even though I had the money, for the most part), and now, broke as I am, between free vegetables lovingly given by friends, and a few staples that I’ve spent some money on (canned fish, eggs and lots of beans), I’ve made some amazing, delicious, nutritious and cheap meals! And I get to sit in my cute little living room with no furniture, look at the mountains, listen to the rainstorms, and eat my meals in quiet peace, often by candlelight, as there is no overhead lighting in my leaky roof.

My latest yummy creation:

Summer Bean Salad
2 c cooked chickpeas
assorted raw greens,chopped fine (escarole, grape leaves)
cooked greens, with garlic, chopped fine (rapini)
1 young leek
4 red or purple radishes, diced
2 boiled eggs
8 olives chopped
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Fontina cheese

Mix all the following, Dress with lemon and olive oil. Eat!

Of course, this is just what was in my fridge. Adjust it for yours.
Any bean
Assorted greens (mix raw and cooked)
A root veggie
Cheese of choice
Oil and lemon dressing ( or use vinegar)

I just caught nearly two quarts of beautiful rainwater to drink, unchlorinated and lovely, in that last downpour. It’s still sprinkling a bit, and the clouds spread as far as the eye can see, so I’ll leave the pots out yet to collect more gifts from the monsoons in Southern Arizona, place of magic and plenty.

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"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~