Monday, June 16, 2008

Inheritance, Well Saved

Ah, what a day this has been. This morning I woke, thinking I would post a blog called "Happy Father's Day/What the Hell Was I Thinking?" in which I would describe the journey--yes, friends, journey-- of a beet risotto nearly four hours in the making. If you have children, you'll understand how a basic recipe (which, when I'd read it twice, wasn't so basic) could end up being an odyssey of near-Homeric proportions. Instead of giving you the aggravating details, let me just say that, in the future, if I walk into a restaurant and see a $20 Beet Risotto on the menu, I will not balk at the price. My risotto came out beautifully, a lovely ruby color, and Joaquin actually ate a few bites at lunch today, so in my opinion, all is well and forgiven, myself and my harebrained ideas included.

And my day has ended with another best-of-intentions scheme: my group of Mamas that usually gathers to drink at Belmont Station never appeared. Not to worry - Grand Teton Brewing Company was there, sampling their wares for the first time in our great state of Oregon. I sampled their Au Naturale Organic Blonde, which was a nice, clean straightforward brew, and their Sweetgrass IPA, which I liked more. The depth of flavor was nice; not just the straight green hoppy flavor, which I like too, but an added spicy note played in the mouth and finished smoothly. As the women were absent, I ordered a Green Flash, did a little writing, and read a book, savoring the first quiet beer in heaven-knows-when.

In between the beginning and end of my day, dear Joaquin and I had a lovely time together in the back yard. The mint-- oh, the mint!--had shot up in the last few weeks and was now over two feet tall. It was time to attack. I put the kiddo in his Get Dirty clothes and out we went. "Darling, some day all of this will be yours." I told him. The sentiment was lost on him as he was busy pulling the grass, but I began to think about what I'd said, and the Big Picture In General.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about recycling as a spiritual practice. I know that there are some people who believe that there is a new Earth in the future, and who am I to say it won't happen? But there's something inside me that thinks I've got a little gem here in my philosophy that we show reverence to the Divine Spirit when we take a moment to sort our glass and paper, when we decide to rinse out that container and reuse it. No matter what your spiritual philosophy, humans are at our best when we are good stewards of the resources of the Earth.

Taking care of my yard is part of my work. Joaquin doesn't understand it yet, but Joe and I have decided that this is our home. This house. I like to say I'm going to die in this house because we aren't moving and have no plans to. This isn't a new idea, living in a home and passing it along to the child (I know, it's soooo 1800's England, perhaps that's why I love it), but it is pretty unique to our generation. Most of the people I know own with the hopes of someday selling and buying something better, bigger, or perhaps even smaller and lower maintenance in their retirement years. Not us. We plan on being wheeled out in body bags many, many years from now.

Kind of a morbid thought. But that detracts from what I really want to say. This house, this home, is Joaquin's inheritance. This is why we take care of it the way we do. This is why I am determined not to let the mint inherit the whole backyard. This is why, when the time comes, we will teach him how to garden, how to weed down to the roots, how to recycle, and when he is much older, how to take care of a house.

I only hope that in the interim, I can teach him how to be a good steward of the Earth, the inheritance of him and his schoolmates, his friends, and all their children and their children's children. To teach him that some of our actions are not temporary, but permanent. That when we let our world fall into disrepair and neglect, we sow those seeds just as actively as we would sow seeds of care and nurturing. Both are seeds that grow, prolifically, and what we decide to do or not to do has a long-term impact on not just us, but those that follow.

Okay, I'll step off my soapbox now and go put on my pajamas. Like the end of so many of these posts, my son calls. He's upstairs, babbling tiredly over the baby monitor. I don't want to neglect him (oh, the price to pay is high when it comes to an overtired toddler catching his second wind!), so off I go. And I have to think, in some way, that he is my inheritance, my treasure, a gift from the dust of the Earth that made him and the spark of some Divine Spirit, whatever it may be.

No comments: