Breathe in....Two Steps...Breathe out...Two Steps... Breathe in...Two Steps...Breathe out...
Sometimes I wish I could write out my stream of consciousness while on my daily run. Thoughts run over themselves, tangle up with one another, and tumble around ~ all vying for attention, deliberation, and domination.
Breathe in...Two Steps...Breathe out...Two Steps. One foot moves in front of the other. I run looking for that place of quiet contemplation but often my heartbeat races trying to knock all sense of steadiness away.
Lately, with each daily run I take I see my life flashing before me with every mechanical step I take. With every methodical breath I make.
I've been seeing these figs, whether symbolic or realistic, in my mind's eye for weeks now. My imagination has been fixated on them with clarity but with some mystery too.
Images of figs attached to childhood times swirl together. Images of figs enjoyed only a few weekends ago sway in my mind. Then, they were being sweetly plucked from a tree and gently offered like little bobbles of jewels to accessorize a meal. Figs have been a fixation of my imagination that will not wipe away when I look away.
My life at present is like this elusive fig in front of me. It is a fruit noted and steeped in tumultuous history that manifests itself in generational markers that include eras of pain, of sustenance, of beauty, and of suffering. The pages of our history keep turning but this beautiful fruit idles in the corners of many diverse worlds so soft and velvety, but altogether dark and shadowy.
Misunderstanding and confusion partner together with one taste of the humble fig as it finds itself being relished in moments of sweet simplicity in one chapter of history but then is considerably cast aside, in tasteless contrast, as it is experienced by another round of circumstance.
I might need to reference these intense thoughts about figs to my current world. I should explain that my son and I are steeped in the study of "World History" this year. We are filled with scenes of colorful ancient stories of olive oil, cheeses, figs, and wines. The Sumerians, the Phoenicians, the Chaldeans, and Hittites all run through the pages of time telling us the same story and lessons of life over and over...repeating history's lessons again and again.
I, with my ever blooming imagination, am left to the wanderings of my mind during our school days, as my my mind's eye flies along time paralleling these ancient worlds to our modern times...and then... down to my own fleeting existence, flapping self-consciously alongside the many great chapters.
All the charts and graphs and leaf plots and histograms could present themselves in a steady and predictable drumbeat of choreography as these catalogs of civilizations file themselves identically side by side. Does my life, my patterns of behavior, my patterns of decisions parallel this flow?
Survival, Expansion, Domination, Destruction. Are these lessons knocking at my door?
Over and over again the pages of history flaunt their messages to all of the students (and mothers!) of the world who are so inclined to hear what are barely audible missives in one moment and then what are deafening howls in the next.
My own infinitesimal mark on the sheets of history come in sharp contrast as well as comparison to the largess of the experiences of the world's cultures. I pull these worldly dramas onto my scant collection of personal pages and deftly adhere them to my little tome. I cup those drops from history that drip between the passages and let them quench my own thirst to satisfy my cravings.
Survival, Expansion, Domination, Destruction. Such grand words of worldly wisdom that send out beacons of meaning to my diminutive every day role as mother, teacher, wife, and woman.
These grand lessons in history feel like they are directly speaking to me. I can hear them. I see their patterns. I match their patterns to mine but what I desire is to act upon those patterns and change them.
But, just as history continues to repeat itself time and time again...so does the predictability of my own negative actions, words, and deeds repeat themselves time and time again. Self doubt swoops over me like those plagues in history. My own convictions about my role, my hopes, my plans continue to compete with those of society and statistics that taunt their siren song.
Breathe in...two steps...Breathe out...two steps...
I have to stop continuously. I have to take stock of my world, my thoughts, my convictions, and my dreams. So much responsibility befalls a mother that it is all at once liberating, suffocating, deafening, and delirious.
What happened to the days when the big decisions were which flavor of dum-dum sucker would you like? "Rootbeer or Cotton Candy? There now...all happy."
So moments of indecision come fast and furious these days. Moments of hesitation take my breath away. My mind's eye amazingly moves from the pages of ancient history through time and over centuries to compare and contrast the every day decisions of my own life in this 21rst century.
Figs. Humble but beautiful figs. They have seen the centuries unfold. They mark and grace my own pages of time. My wandering mind's eye sees them in ancient times, in Dutch still-lifes, and on rural farmhouse tables.
Even with all of the lessons observed in history teaching us not to repeat mistakes of the past, I struggle to heed my own lessons in order to forge a new and better history.
Somehow, these beautiful figs made it through. Somehow, they survived in spite of the odds. Somehow, they remain here today to bring us inspiration, joy, taste, and in my case...reflection.
** Humboldt Fog Cheese is a new discovery for us. It is amazingly soft, velvety and rich. If you would like to learn more about it, follow this link here:
Fresh Fall Figs with Humbolt Fog (Cheese)...on Bruschetta
One long thin whole grain baguette
Grass fed whole butter
Wedge of Humboldt Fog Cheese (learn more about this amazing cheese here
Spinach greens (handful)
4-6 Fresh figs, quartered
Cut the whole grain baguette into slices. Spread the soft butter on each slice. Either place the slices under the broiler or place them in a skillet on the stove top to toast.
Once nice and toasted, add spinach leaves, a slice of Humboldt Fog cheese and a wedge of fresh fig to the warmed toasts. Enjoy as a dinner with a bowl of soup or as an appetizer for a get together with friends.