1. And we talk about passing the plate, how the food we grow doesn't come from us, how we share these meals, and it's in the passing of plates that grace happens. I grew this, but I didn't. I cooked this, but I didn't. There is a generosity in allowing the gift to exist before we give it because the anonymity of the gesture speaks of the Benefactor.
2. I have discovered cooking again, and this is a joy. An appetite restored to sweet and sour and salt. The speed at which this crazy life functions is antithetical to the moment of presence and grace that each mouthful offers. Be here. Receive this. Enjoy this. Live abundantly, child. Play.
3. I check the garden each day, sometimes several times a day, welcoming the new green shoots that find their way triumphantly through the crusted dirt. I talk to them using the same voice Nora uses with Henrietta and Tweetie Sweetie: hellooooo little radish. Helllooooo lettuce. How are you? Come out, come out whatever you are.
4. Flowers are purchased and we make it out with two big bundles of pink and purple and white light. Nora stops before we leave: "Mommy, I want a bleeding heart." At first I don't process it the way she intends. I see whole arteries flowing, an opening blossom breaking free, light pouring out: we are alive and our hearts are beating and breaking and mending and singing. The image stops suddenly like a tripped fuse. "Oh, yes, a bleeding heart. I love those, too." We add another green thing to the back of the pickup, this one with heart-shaped drops of color hanging from the life-root that sustains us all: love.
5. And when I pay for the flowers, I dig out the gift certificate someone anonymously left on my step last summer. And I want to be a part of this circle. I'll have to work at it. We are self-feeding machines, and this turning outward brings us to the overwhelming view from that tower, a view so different than the one at the bottom of the mirror.