I have spent the past couple of weeks weeding through recipes. Well, working and weeding through recipes. Okay, working, mid-summer cleaning and weeding through recipes. Sigh.
In any case, I have been working my way slowly through my collection of recipes that have accumulated from years of printing from websites, snipping from newspapers, and the ever-popular ripping from magazines. They have all found themselves loosely filed (read: stuffed) into a giant hard-cover spiral journal which I had geniously converted into my "recipe book" back in college. Few and far between are the days when I actually muster up the motivation to organize that glorified Trapper Keeper. Pardon me, my 80's are showing.
So in honest efforts to truly get the task done, I have decided to tackle a little bit at a time, day by day. And, in doing so, have discovered how I have changed. Perhaps I have fallen victim to the recently popularized green movement. Perhaps I simply am fine-tuning my choices. Perhaps, oh just perhaps, I have simply become more conscious of the world around me, more sensitive and yet somehow more determined. Perhaps.
My parents have always kept a compost pile, and our garden has certainly expanded its selection to include cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, watermelon, leaf lettuce and string beans. I know we've always had a red currant bush, although those perfectly round little berries had always been a little too tart for my liking. We turn off the AC when not needed and open windows throughout the house to, as my father would say, "get some cross-ventilation."
But these days, I find myself thinking beyond and perhaps ahead. Chlorine-free bleach, natural organic sugar, olive oil instead of butter. Organic cotton and glass replacing synthetics and plastics. I'm sure I could keep a running tab of all of the different little changes that occur to me throughout the day. And I know that there are probably people out there that might roll their eyes at this type of, um, stuff. But in all honesty, we are responsible for our own bodies. And I will one day be responsible for some other little bodies. To strengthen. To protect. To fill with the goodness of the world. Because we all know there is enough bad out there.
I believe in whole foods, in pure foods. I believe in fresh fruit and vegetables, more so ones that haven't been subjected to harmful pesticides and chemicals. I don't believe in diets — I believe in being healthy, living healthy. I believe in good old fashioned exercise, but I also believe in yoga and mediation. I believe in strengthening the body and the mind. I don't necessarily believe in religion per se, but I believe in faith and spirituality. I believe in happiness, but I also believe in sadness. Because without heartbreak and despair our souls would never get a chance to grow, strengthen and thrive. Without experiencing the darkness of life, we could never fully appreciate the light.
So as I continue to work, clean, organize and, ultimately, live, I find it appropriate that I leave off here: I believe in balance.