After a spectacular sunset last night, we awoke to a beautiful soft rain and chilly temperatures that have served as a gentle reminder to me that Spring has not left us yet and I am glad for that. It seems in recent years, we’ve jumped from Winter to Summer-like weather and missed the beautiful transition of Spring.
The air is sweet with the scent of Locust blossoms and Honeysuckle that grow at the back of our property. Is there anything better than the scent of these wild blooms? I think not and every year, I relish in them.
The other day, after visiting the garden, I told my husband that the flowers and shrubs at the fire pit, which were recently run over by our contractor’s truck, were doing really well. The Salvia is blooming and even the Alliums which are broken, have managed to bloom. My husband said, “Maybe they knew you were so upset, so they rallied themselves and decided to do well in spite of it.” At first, for some reason, I thought he meant the men who had run over them and I shook my head with a decisive no, but then I realized maybe he meant the plants and I immediately agreed that perhaps he was right!
If that’s not indicative of who I am, nothing else is. I definitely believe in plants and animals more easily and openly than I do fellow man.
Then again, I’ve never been harmed or hurt by a single plant or animal – at least not intentionally – not even the poison ivy, which annually scratches my arms and leaves me in misery with an angry itchy rash. I owe it only to the fact that I’m ruthlessly pulling it from the ground and probably deserve the rash.
I definitely have more faith in Nature than humans and feel quite peaceful in surrounding myself with plants and the wise words of learned men and women immortalized in books.
That said, I really enjoy speaking with people. Just yesterday, while waiting for a coffee, I chatted with a beautiful young mother of two boys. she told a funny story of finding a shrew in her house. she and her little four-year old son were darling and I enjoyed the talk very much. My only regret was that I didn’t get her phone number so that maybe we could get together again soon, but I leave it to the Universe that if we’re meant to be friends, we’ll meet again sometime.
I am reminded of the words of the Dalai Lama, who said that he is never lonely, because he has an intimate relationship with everyone he meets and like Jesus said, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and act on it.” Maybe it’s just that simple. Maybe these leaned men know what many of us miss: that we need simply to love one another and listen and speak with each person we meet as though she is our mother and brother/sister.
There is vulnerability in opening our hearts to others and I don’t mean simply posting everything on social media. There’s no confidence in that. If someone posts something for everyone on earth with an account to see, there’s no bravery or intimacy in that. However, to confide in a friend and trust them to hold your truths in their hearts as you would for them, now that’s where the magic is.
It’s taken me a long time and a lot of hurt to get back to this point. when I moved away from everyone I knew (basically) and relocated to where I live now, I experienced some major depression and it’s no wonder. I had gotten divorced and while I met a wonderful man (my husband), I got pregnant quickly, quit my job as a teacher and moved to a new city – all within a year. it’s no wonder I had trouble. Any of those things can be difficult, even the happy pregnancy, but to have all of those things in one year was undoubtedly the heaviest load I’ve ever carried.
I did not fare well, in all honesty and I believe that on top of all of that, I had post-partum depression after the birth of my daughter as well. For four years, I struggled and tread water and had no one to whom I could reach out. I could have reached out to my husband, but I didn’t want to be a burden to him. Mamas, how often have you felt like that with your spouse?
Here’s something I’ve learned (the hard way).
When we fail to reach out to others, we send the message that they shouldn’t reach out to us either. When we try to wear the armor of strength all the time, we make our friends far less likely to confide in us when they are feeling weak or tired, or sad, or overwhelmed, because we never open that door for them. When we fail to allow intimacy with our family and friends, we fail to receive it in return.
It took my becoming a hermit to figure this out. I hope you can learn from my mistakes and put down the suit of armor and go live bravely and vulnerably. You deserve it and your family and friends deserve to truly know you as well.
You may experience some hurts. I know I have. It hurts my feelings when I’m ignored, or spoken to in a cruel way, but it’s all worth it. I’d rather have loved than to never love and I know that’s cliche, but it’s the truth.
With all that said, however, I am happiest among my plants and animals – at home, but it’s different though when it’s not about hiding away.
Generally at this time of year and especially with the waxing moon, I’m super energetic and almost manic, but lately I’ve felt very peaceful. It’s not because I’m without problems. I’ve got a few things I’m dealing with in my life, but I’m just not letting them take over. I’m learning that situations are ephemeral and there’s no reason to dwell on them and certainly no reason to dive down into the muck of worry.
There’s too much beauty to be enjoyed.
So, I’ve been giving my energy to other things I enjoy, like cooking and baking. when my sons were little, I baked a lot and we most often had home cooked meals, rather than take out or fast food. If we wanted cookies or cake, I made them. There was no little Debbie, or running to the bakery for things like that. For whatever reason, I got away from that and I’ve been finding my way back to my joy.
Okay, so without further ado, here’s the banana bread recipe.
With the rain today, I decided to use the overripe bananas on my counter to make the best gluten free banana bread I’ve ever made. I’ve tried other recipes, but this one is by far the best. If you have another recipe for a great gluten free sweet bread, please share it with me!
Super moist Gluten Free Banana Bread
- 2 cups gluten free baking flour
- 3 very rip bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup sugar (I actually omitted this because I felt it had enough sweetness, but use your best judgment here)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- ‘2 tbsp almond milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9X5 pan, set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, combine wet ingredients and mix well.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until moist. Dump in pan.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes. I covered mine with aluminum foil with about 20 minutes left so it didn’t get too brown. Use your best judgment.
- Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee and maybe even share it with a good friend.
Mamas, I want to leave you with a thought:
Don’t be afraid to be you. Here’s the deal…no matter what you do, someone will have a critique. I love to read. I enjoy reading and always have. You would think that such an occupation would face little critique, but so many times I’ve been met with the comment: “I don’t read. I have a life.” Still others criticize reading as a way to avoid living, which I find to be utter nonsense, but to each her own.
You do your thing. If you enjoy it, then it’s enjoyable. If you’re interested in it, then it’s interesting. you don’t need anyone else to validate what you’re doing and if you do, then maybe your heart really isn’t in it after all and that’s okay too. We need to try new things so we can discover what does pull at our heart strings.
Thanks for reading and if you make the bread, drop a comment to let me know what you think.