October 2010

Something Simple

October 29, 2010

Apples may be the best part of Autumn. There are so many different ways to enjoy them, and I never tire of all the varieties that are available this time of year.

For just today, Whole Foods is putting the Honey Crisp apple on sale (yes, they are good enough for me to actually plug that in this blog post), and the boys and I will be there first thing this morning to stock up. I can already tell you that our Friday will be spent making apple sauce, apple butter, apple cookies, and of course, apple sandwiches.

Although Facebook has it’s controversial aspects, it paid off when I saw a recent photo (again through Whole Foods) that showed a honey crisp apple sandwich with what appeared to be peanut butter and granola. It looked so good that I was nearly giddy to realize that Elwood and I had exactly one apple and enough peanut butter to make one for each of us.

We took the idea one step further and cut an acorn into the top apple slice, and made sure to add plenty of chocolate chips to sweeten the deal.

The result? The quickest, and maybe the tastiest snack we have eaten all week. Tart apples, crunchy gluten free granola and a touch of chocolate. How could we go wrong?

Happy weekend everyone.

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Piece Together Peace

October 27, 2010

At the end of September I received an email from Elizabeth of Threading Light letting me know about a new project that she and co-writer Lisa DeNardo were taking on.

Here is a piece of that email

I wanted to share with you a new project that Lisa and I have launched recently called Piece together Peace.  We are proposing a personal peace movement to take place simultaneously with one that is literally walking through the heart of America beginning 10.10.10 and ending 11.11.11 called the 13 Moon Walk 4 Peace. While it is not practical for everyone to leave their homes and go walking across the US for 13 months, anyone can make an intention for peace in their own life.  So we are asking the blogging community to make a simple intention for peace at the beginning of every month by focusing on one area of their life and sharing their experiences as they do this work.  The idea is to inspire and support each other as we do this peace work.

I was really taken with this project, and I spent some time thinking on what exactly peace means to me in the life that I am living right now. I find that the most peaceful moments in my life lately have been the ones that come from just watching my children enjoying their childhood.

That may sound simple, but children really do hold the key to happiness, to peace, and to a more harmonious world. The simple things that make them laugh, that bring them joy, and that allow them a freedom of expression is not only joyous to watch, but truly awe inspiring as well. Maybe it sounds naive, but I really believe that if we could all live as simply and easily as a child, the world would be no where near as complicated as it is.

Having said that, children seem to be bombarded with so much these days, that it feels as though those peaceful and simple qualities are more limited than when I was a kid. The challenge that I gave myself this past month, in taking part of Piece Together Peace, was to allow for as many moments of childhood as was possible. To put down my computer, to walk away from all the tasks that I put on myself to accomplish, and to just live with my children in their world, rather than trying to prepare them for mine.

I have to admit that in trying this approach, a lot has shifted for my little family. There is nothing major that you can spot, nothing out in the open that seems different, but there is a subtle togetherness that surrounds us in a new way. Work, finances, stress, marriage, relationships, housekeeping, these are things that we all face and that sometimes are surprising in the ways that they prevent us from fully embracing the joys of our own family.

As Joel and I set out to not force those things to go away, but rather to embrace the time with our kids more fully, we both felt that our own relationship with each other has shifted and grown. It is important to us that our kids do not define us by the time we spend on the computer or the phone, but it also important that they feel that we not only schooled them and taught them and cared for them, but that we truly played with them.

It is in the play that the peace occurs. The tossing of leaves for hours, watching them jump from trees into those same leaf piles for as long as they wanted us to, and sitting back and choosing to be fully present in those moments, that is where we found the peace.

When my oldest child wakes early in the morning, instead of sending him out to work on a project, I have gotten up and worked on one with him. It has gone from sleep I felt that I felt I was missing, to the best part of my morning. Instead of encouraging the kids to play a game with each other, I have tried to get down and play one with them every chance I could get. Instead of knitting while they are in the backyard climbing trees or playing hide and go seek, I have gotten involved (to the extent that I can) in their imaginative play. I may not always be right in the thick of what they are doing, but I am not just observing anymore, and that has felt much different.

We all work hard, and in so many ways we believe that we have to live within the stressful confines that the world puts on us, but choosing to seek out peace through the children we love so much is the best reminder that we get to choose the lives that we lead, and the way that we lead them. We can create peace by allowing as many opportunities for our children to find joy, and in doing so create a world of leaders for the next generation who will hopefully feel more connected to each other and the world they inhabit.

It may not be much, but it certainly has made a difference.

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