This morning I am sitting at my computer with the windows open wide to the morning. It is still dark outside, but the sound of the birds in the trees can be heard over the soft hum of the breeze blowing through the screens. It is indeed a wonderful morning. I push the thoughts out of my mind that question why it is so warm on this day in the middle of March where I find myself sitting in a shirt that bares my arms, the window open and a glass of iced tea by my side. I replace those questioning thoughts with ones of remembrance and gratitude.
The weekend was a great one. One in which we were able to see, and spend quality time with, each and every member of our extended family. My girls were able to play outside, and eat just about every meal out of doors. The tiny asparagus shoots and rhubarb that I planted last year began emerging from beneath the soil and I felt great relief knowing they had made it through the winter. We will indeed have some of our own homegrown food very, very soon.
Over the weekend my husband and I were also extremely lucky in that we were able to attend an amazing local food conference hosted by our state university extension office. I loved attending because of the discussion local food, but also because the seminar was hosted at the forest preserve where I attended residential summer camp so many years ago.
As we neared the lodge where the meeting was to be held, I saw the flag pole where each and every morning we would gather to raise the flag and sing songs. I noticed the path to its right that led us deep into the woods for our many adventures with with nature: hiking, tracking, cooking over an open fire, swimming, canoeing, even repelling. (Yes, the girl who is deathly afraid of heights repelled down a rock cliff! That just shows you how deeply I enjoyed being at this camp.) I took a deep breath in and realized that despite all of the years that had passed, it still smelled familiar.
We entered the lodge and the fond memories continued to flood my mind. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted the dormitory where we spent so many nights chatting about our amazing adventures and snuggling beneath the blankets on our bunks, anxious for the new excitement that would greet us at our rising. My husband and I then walked into the dining hall, where many were gathered for this local food discussion, and I was reminded of the meals I shared with friends in this space. The sense of community I felt as we took turns passing food around the table, and learning about stewardship. We only took that which we needed and learned not to be wasteful because the earth was what gave us this bounty, and we must show gratitude for that which many are unable to consume.
While the discussion of local food was a fabulous one, a great learning experience, and a chance to connect with other like-minded individuals; these memories made this day a special one. I am reminded of those moments in my life that brought me to where I am today. Those little experiences, that we may not view as important at the time, mold us into the people we will become later in life.
I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful Monday and an amazing week!