Creating an Urban Homestead

Life is But a Dream—or Maybe Just a Big Bowl of Soup

Nothing like the holidays to bring back memories of holidays past. Former lives within this life haunt me—so many moments and people that are now gone forever. They are real in my mind but elusive as a dream.

Life is so much more fluid than I ever knew. My mind keeps bumping into the people of the past as I cherish time spent with people of the present.

“Their souls are in the halls of my mind,” says Flash of his dearly departed. I know what he means.

While tidying the house last night in preparation for Christmas brunch, I watered and trimmed all of the houseplants, acutely aware of the plants that Flash brought with him from The Asylum.

Most of the newcomer plants had belonged his late mother, Joella. Last summer I revived a few of them and now when I care for them, I hope that she feels cared for, too, because I know they were hers.

That is our connection. And of course, I care for her son, my lover. Our other connection. These connections won’t make up for the fact that we will never meet in this life, but I feel I know Joella in a certain sense.

Yet another gift that Mike gave me; the ability to feel intangible connections bound together with love.

My old life and new life tangoed today while prepping for one of two brunches we’ll be enjoying with family and friends tomorrow.

While harvesting green onions and cilantro from The Okey Dokey Ranch garden, I appreciated the fact that winter doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the growing season in Birmingham. Who needs a white Christmas anyway? Though I will admit that for years it bothered me that my children would not truly experience winter if they grew up in the South. Thankfully, I’ve gotten over that one.

As I cut and diced, it dawned on me that Mike had planted green onions in the very spot where I’d harvested them today and that these onions, volunteer descendants of the ones he planted three or so years ago, were only there because of his hand. Same with the cilantro.

Somehow it comforted me to know that the chicken salad that I’m bringing to people I never knew while married to Mike would be influenced and flavored by his garden; something he loved dearly. In a very real sense he will be joining us.

Once, on a discussion board for widows, I found a thread started by a Christian widow who was about to remarry. She agonized over the thought that once she and her new husband died and went to heaven, she would be faced with both of her husbands and would have to choose to spend eternity with one them. Heavy stuff.

I choose to believe that if we do end up together after this life, it’s more like homemade soup. We each add our unique textures and flavors to the pot and after a while, the flavors blend until you can’t tease them apart. When the ladle takes a scoop, it’s one big, warm, tasty swirl of love.

In fact, maybe it’s a good analogy for our lives right now; ingredients and people come and go and it is our job to appreciate the flavor of today, despite our knowledge of and love for yesterday’s meal.

And the fear that tomorrow’s flavor could be a new one.

3 Responses

  1. Mom

    Hmmmm, people adding to the texture and flavor of the home made soup of life….yes, I like that. Appreciating the flavor of the day is challenge at times though, huh?

    December 26, 2009 at 11:13 pm

  2. Yes, indeed. In my cooking, too.

    December 27, 2009 at 11:51 am

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