Sunday, March 4, 2018

Labyrinths, Cake and Zen Knitting

There will
be a day
when the weight of it all
will be lifted,
and you’ll find strength
in new-“okays,”
even amidst the memories
that took long
to fade away.
And new mercies
will ever-find you
every
single
morning,
and you
will be carried.
And for the better,
things will change.
–Morgan Harper Nichols
We just got back from a weekend away at our favourite cabin. We go so frequently that I got an "On this day" reminder on Facebook showing the photo I take every single time we go. I guess we're regulars now:


We decided to visit a new place this time around: Providence Farm. I'd read about this place years ago when we first moved here in a local magazine, and I've wanted to visit ever since then. I'm very glad we finally did:


Providence Farm is a therapeutic community which runs a program for people of all kinds of backgrounds who might benefit from the tranquility that working on the farm provides. It has a big old building on site that began its life as a school. The entire property is now run by the Vancouver Island Providence Community Association and operates today as an independent, working, therapeutic, secular organization serving adults and seniors with a variety of mental health challenges, developmental and intellectual disabilities and age-related illnesses.


You can also sign up for an allotment on the farm where you can grow your own organic vegetables:


And hang out with the free-range chickens:



Around the back of the property are some other critters:


And the General Store, which is also a coffee shop:


They also sell items made by participants of many of the programs, including the in-house textiles program which teaches wool spinning, knitting and weaving:


You can also walk the labyrinth. It's a type of meditation, where you slowly follow the path around until you reach the centre. The long, slow path is meant to help you slow down and quieten your mind. It even has a "shortcut" route if you find you need to get there a bit quicker. The result is the same: you have the journey in, the centering in the middle, and the journey back out. It was a good thing for me to try out:


Afterward, we went into Cowichan Bay, which is always a treat, no matter what the weather. This day was particularly pleasant:


We met this cat, who walked straight up to us to say hello. A fellow washing his windows told us his name was Mutumbo, and he lives in one of the houseboats in the bay. "He greets all of the people and checks on all the boats, and he goes up and sits in the harbour master's chair." It seemed like the right kind of life for him:


I have recently developed a fascination with doors, and seeing this one with a cat in it made it a photo opportunity I could not ignore:


And well, sometimes doors are a little sad... especially when you're a doggie waiting outside a bakery:


It was a good change of scenery for me, a good distraction from every day life. I even did some knitting on my epic cobweb lace project, but really, it's not worth looking at just yet. You'd swear I was just showing you the same photo from three weeks ago. If anything, it's nearly a meditation project - doing the same thing over and over again gives you the chance to empty your mind. I imagine it's similar to raking the gravel in a Japanese Zen garden: the same task over and over until you find some kind of enlightenment. And I feel like I need that right now.

It's probably not a secret that my last job was very hard on me, and leaving it was especially hard. I won't go into the details, but right now is a time of transition and recovery for me. I notice that I'm moving a bit slower, I need more sleep, and I'm more sensitive and emotional right now - even for me.

I've been changing things around for myself to try to help myself through this. I'm not exercising as hard as I was, and my routine is not so rigid. I get up a little later, and if I can't muster up the energy, I skip the gym or the pool instead of pushing through it. And I eat different things. I gave up my morning "power smoothie" because I was getting sick of them. Four and a half years of the same thing for breakfast will do that to you. And really, I just wanted something to chew on for a change.

So I've been eating this. It's a version of baked oatmeal with lentils and protein powder. And it's got canned peaches at the bottom of it, which I admit, didn't look great when I flipped it over, but I'm pretty confident it's going to taste great:


I'm very conscious that it is nearly three months since I completed a project, so part of me is desperate to produce something. So I made a cake. It helps that it's the hubby's birthday tomorrow. It seemed like the thing to do.


If you have not yet made a Lemon Madeira Cake, might I suggest that you make one in the near future? It's easy. Here's the recipe. You should do it. I'll sit here and eat a slice while you do it. I might even meditate while I wait.

Anyway, here I sit yet again on a Sunday night, wishing I had some darn knitting share for a change but trying to be ok with not having it. But I think, like all the rest of stuff in life right now, it'll all work out somehow. I mean, it's got to. I can't knit the same thing FOREVER, could I?

I better not ask such questions. Have a great week.

1 comment:

Pupuk Bawang Merah said...

I wish I can bake it nice and tasty