The “Art of Healing Inside and Out” is much more than being able to let go of the pain and hurts from years gone by. All adults, and young adults have enough baggage to take an around the world and back again trip. Healing also means remembering–and celebrating–the good parts–the ones that make you say, “that was great fun.”
A few days ago a Facebook friend posted a photo of two couples sitting at the kitchen table playing cards. That’s what people did “back then.” They played cards, dominoes and intense games of “42,” though I never really did understand that one. Farming is one of the most demanding–and rewarding ways of life imaginable. Most days started before sunrise and ended when it got too dark to see. Getting together with friends, playing cards, or whatever, coffee, cake and conversation broke the monotany and every day routines. You didn’t get a lot of breaks, and they were well deserved and every one special.
It’s still tough today, although sitting in the cab of a tractor today with GPS, air conditioning and stereo versus dragging a plow in the middle of a Panhandle sand storm on a tractor with no cab while being engulfed in a wall of sand no matter which direction you drove–is about like comparing a Ferrari to a Ford Pinto.
Life was hard, but it was also so much simpler. Although there are many parts of my life I really wouldn’t want to go through again–even if they did “make me who I am today,” there were also many, many parts that make me wish I could do it again. This blog concentrates a lot on food and nutrition and how to eat our way back to health. But there are volumes of food memories that would make an ardent Paleo follower gasp in dismay. I don’t care–it was good! And good for our souls.
Every time I use my Momma’s cast iron skillet, a different memory will pop into my head. The countless breakfasts she prepared for my dad, making sure she made enough for that meal, with plenty left to put on a plate in the cabinet!! for a mid-morning break.
Yes, food was pure enough without all the junk and fillers and chemicals that we have today you actually could put it in the cabinet, or on the counter and not in the fridge. We raised basically everything we ate back then–everything was free range and organic.
There were four of us–my sister and me and my Momma and Daddy and Momma always cooked enough for us, some to have left over and no one ever dropped in unexpectedly who was not fed. Momma was known all over for her biscuits and her cakes. All the women in my family were fabulous cooks. I guess that’s where I got the gene.
I got so angry after I had graduated from culinary school and realized I already knew how to do most of the stuff I learned and now owed a fortune for. Momma just called it “gravy” and not “sauce.” She didn’t sautee, she fried. She didn’t dice, she chopped. If she was making a big meal, she often would sit in the living room chair, with a bowl in her lap and cut up her vegetables bringing the blade back to her thumb not knowing she “wasn’t holding the knife correctly” or (gasp) not wearing a cutting glove…she did wrap her thumb with tape if she was doing a lot of chopping though.
It’s funny how something as plain as a cast iron skillet can take me back to a “good” place every time I pick it up. I remember fried chicken at my grandmother’s on Sundays after church–the family feasts at every holiday (and any other time we got together). I can smell apples and cinnamon and remember Momma making apple cider to put into thermos jugs that we would take to my uncle’s football games. We would be wrapped up in blankets, sitting in open air stadiums with steady 30 mph winds and a wind chill that would cut through you, sipping on her Spiced Apple Cider. Great memories let you drift away and quietly smile to yourself.
Yes, healing can be about remembering and letting go. But, healing is also about remembering and telling those special people “I love you–I miss you–thank you.” Healing is gratitude and love. I feel better already.