I did eat a salad for lunch today (nice transition) - radish, green onion, and goat cheese on spring mix greens, with poppy seed dressing. Everything but the dressing was grown/made at Abundant Acres Farm, the provider of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share that I bought this season. Friends Kent and Dori have again done a great job making fresh, local, chemical-free food available, and I'm grateful for it. I don't have a garden on my own land right now, but having a bag of garden-fresh stuff delivered to me every week is hard to beat. There's still quite a gap between my ideals about where my food comes from and my actual diet.
This past week I took a vacation from the office to focus on...not being at the office for a week. It was a brief but effective period of rest and catching up on life's other projects - I spent some time hiking, traveling, exploring, unpacking and rearranging the new house, working in the yard, reading and researching, responding to old e-mail messages (I'm down to just 2 personal inbox items, YAY!), spending time with friends, getting my old house ready to rent, journaling, sleeping, lounging, and planning for the future. I'm grateful to have co-workers and a work life that makes this kind of break possible and easy.
Yesterday I heard a clicking/chirping/screeching noise in the hallway outside where I was sitting, and emerged to find that the cats had surrounded a bat on the floor of my bedroom. After swearing lightly a few times, I went back into the room I'd been in to compose myself. When I emerged again, the bat had moved to the window frame in the bedroom, cats plotting their ascent, and I'm pretty sure it was looking at me. "Your move, help me out here," I think it was saying. I swore again and then shooed the cats out and closed the door behind me. Then I did what anyone in my position would do: I Twittered about it. The immediate responses varied in their helpfulness, from some genuine offers to come assist, to naming the bat Howard, to, "Bats carry rabies and if they bite you in your sleep, you'd NEVER KNOW! I heard it on NPR." Gee, thanks. By the time Becky arrived to take charge of the situation, the bat had gone into hiding, and has yet to re-emerge. Part of me honestly believes that it intercepted my Twitter feed and knew what it might be in for. Oh well. Sleeping in a bee-keeper suit was not too uncomfortable.
Despite being on vacation, I had a few great organizational meetings, and I joined two new organizations/projects this week. The Creative Industries Task Force is a working group sprung from the city's comprehensive plan, helping to prepare the ground for a county-wide organization that can support, celebrate and coordinate the arts and cultural environment of Richmond and Wayne County. The Earlham College Alumni Council works to advance the College's development and keep its alumni engaged with the life of the institution. In both cases, I'm honored to be asked to contribute, and am optimistic that both efforts are already so much in line with work I am already doing informally that I won't notice any additional time commitment.
Doors are opening all around me with opportunities to dive into more of the community building work that I know I want to do. I'm still working on some implementation plans following my Transition Training conference last month. Coming up in June the Imago folks in Cincinnati are putting on a conference on ecology, spirituality and living economies that I've registered for, and just a week later the Earth Charter folks are having a conference in Indianapolis to help people create an ethical framework for sustainability in their communities. I see excitement building locally around local food, alternative transportation, better communication and dialog, alternative media and citizen journalism, and a general openness to new ways of making the community better. The hard part is no longer trying to get something moving - the hard part is figuring out what I have to say "no" to because there are so many things moving. I'll take it!
I saw this Maya Angelou quote recently and found it useful: "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." I've been paying a lot of attention since to how each person I encounter makes me feel, and how I might make them feel. My attentiveness has not been about striving for the answer to be "good" all the time, but at least to know that something is being felt, that there's some emotional engagement we can both find worth remembering.
Those are a few of the ingredients tossed into my salad of life lately. How about you?