Wednesday, April 30, 2014

When a Book Permeates

It's been a while since I've posted, because life got to feel the same. Things got normal, life seemed understandable. And partially, I stopped believing anyone would care what life outside of California was like, since so much of my life moving forward seems to be non-Californian. I had the very odd experience of craving California, craving that belonging, and wishing someone cared that once I could bask in the warm summer sun of the central valley when in Texas a few weeks ago. Texas, at a National Farm to School Conference, where all movers and shakers in the Farm to School movement got together to share their stories. And in between my desire to learn, my wish to belong, my drive to enjoy, and my awe of being in Austin - I realized that I don't mind being out of California. I don't mind being a part of something smaller, but just as meaningful, being somewhere that doesn't seem to require some type of healthy eating, and where farm to school is the norm. I came to the Midwest to do what I felt driven to do because too many were already doing it in California. I can't fly into Texas with a warm California glow, but I can come with my sensible abilities and drive to persevere. And, a sickly pale tone craving the Texas sun.

Nevertheless, I didn't quite come to this page to talk about California or Texas. I came to talk about Love. Not a romantic, idealistic love - but simply these feelings that have welled up inside of me, a warm cascading of blanketing comfort when thinking of particular people, of certain situations. It's feels almost funny to love someone - to give your heart, your best wishes, to think fondly of and hope the best for, to forgive, to listen to and shift with. Shift from what you need to what they require, to forgive, and accept what may have been previously thought unacceptable. It feels funny, because I don't understand it. I don't understand the warmth created, the smile that plays across my face. I don't understand how I can give something to someone, and expect even less in return over time. I'm not familiar with placing love in someone, and in situations, that aren't guaranteed to deliver back and require nothing in return. And I'm slightly nervous at giving over love to hopeful things, knowing sometimes love bites back but understanding always, moving forward. It wells up inside, just the thought of these people, of what connects us, of the things people do and what they mean to each other, the simple connections.

This past winter, I feel in love with a baby. Holding the little baby on my chest, knowing the story of her and her mother, her father and their family, I felt that I had always known this baby, yet don't know anything she'll ever do. She felt so small, so innocent and perfect, so dependent and hopeful and capable. And in a swift moment I realized that I wanted to do everything I could for this baby, to make sure she never feels hurt, that the world doesn't stop her. And I knew her parents felt the same, and suddenly parenthood made sense.

My dog's love has recently become meaningful to me. Despite having been with her for several years, it seems that only the past few weeks I've fallen in love with her. I've always appreciated her quirks, missed her when away, and looked forward to her daily rituals. But suddenly I stopped telling myself she would love anyone just the same. I recognized how often she sat with me, how close she always is, and how she sees me as her whole world. I missed the feeling of her on my bed in Texas. And I found myself understanding love in a different way.

As everyone is, I'm searching for love of different kinds - love of place, love of family, love of friends and occupation. Love to fill the wounds of old, the unknowns of future, and the daily ups and downs. It just takes a long time when you look for love in the wrong places, and can't see what exists all around - just in ways you didn't at first see. And while life seems a lot more settled now than what the pages of this blog hold previously, my mind has all the more to discover.