Monday, June 9, 2014

I get by with a little help from my friends

Weeks ago, I received a request from one of my dear readers to write more details about wild edibles. There's so many plants we consume that I haven't written about yet, so I have a lot of catching up to do. Here's a quick blurb. Brandon introduced me to the world of tiger lilies several days ago, before he left for Seattle. All you have to do is pick the flower, and you can eat the whole thing! This blew my mind! In rural Indiana, these are so abundant, growing in the ditches on the sides of the roads. I can't believe it took me 20 years to find out about this. The lilies taste kind of sweet to me, with a bite to them. After eating 3 or 4, my throat becomes a little sore, so I recommend moderation. I've eaten them by themselves, as well as in a salad. Both I highly recommend, especially the salad. I didn't need to add that many to really taste the flavor. I'm sure there's many other possibilities to use them.

After picking lilies, Freebird and I went to City Market. He insisted on buying us some 
dinner and ice cream. We ate at Rotary Park, talking to visiting Mormons, dodging frisbees and footballs, and listening to an impressive drum circle. Then we made the hike back to the 
canyon at nightfall, followed by the fragrance of the verbenas.

Lately I have most often been in the canyon, enjoying life. No societal pressures, just play. We've been swimming at Love Pool, hiking, climbing up ledges to watch the sunset, reading a book about Daniel Suelo (The Man Who Quit Money), and having philosophical/spiritual conversation. Of course I throw a bit of drawing into the mix as well.

One day, while reading Daniel's book aloud to Freebird and relaxing in Raven's Roost, we witnessed an awesome sight. Directly across the canyon from us, ravens have been nesting. For weeks we have heard the hatchlings squawking away, while the parents soared around the canyon in search of food. Sometimes we would see the parents sitting on a nearby ledge, ignoring the incessant begging and giving themselves some alone time. So one that day, as we read in the cave, the babies left the nest. First, one of the parents showed them how to fly. Ten minutes later, one of the fledglings jumped. It dropped all the way to the ground, about a 300 foot descent. We held our breath, thinking it had smacked right into the rock. But soon, it ascended rapidly and made its way to where the parent had flown. Next came the other parent's turn. Meanwhile, the other child continued to cry out from the nest. I believe the parents did coax that one to leave the nest a little later.

The location of the nest, in a huge crack in the cliff.
Later, Freebird brought this flower to Raven's Roost. We then went out to 
collect some flowers and sage to leave in the Guest Cave for Daniel and Govinda.

On Sunday, Freebird and I visited LuAnn and invited her to the potluck. She allowed us to use her shower that day. Little things like a shower I used to take for granted. I easily get to wash my hair in the Wabi Sabi sink from time to time, but a complete shower is always appreciated. LuAnn then drove with us to the potluck.

They still had to stop by City Market though. As some of the group was already at the park, I was dropped off there to inform the others that Freebird and LuAnn would be back. They made a run for some ice cream, of course. Daniel made some vegetarian quiche and Spanish rice. Dan brought a bucket full of drumsticks. We also had a variety of sides to choose from.

Left to right: LuAnn, Freebird, Augy, Dan.

Alf and Daniel.

Alf also shares a love for photography. He took some pictures of the potluck, which he has allowed me to share here. Alf used a Sony Nex 7 with a 55 mm f1.8 Takumar lens. His e-mail is displayed on the pictures, for any who are interested in contacting him. He sells some images. Alf assists at a print studio here in Moab, where they use paper that is also made there.

Freebird reading a review of The Man Who Quit Money.

Thanks for the pictures, Alf!

Heila, Veda, and Brer joined us too!

It was such a pleasure beyond words to cross paths with all these people at the potluck.

LuAnn offered to drive me to KZMU early, before Daniel's show, "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out." While waiting for everyone to arrive, I wandered around with the camera and drew in the sketchbook.

Govinda soon arrived and joined me in wonderful conversation as the sun set behind the rocks. Then LuAnn returned with Freebird and watched with us. All of us admired the vivid colors fading to dusk and the illuminated moon rising overhead.

Despite all the joys of the day, mostly I was feeling down, dwelling on the past. Dealing with attachments to friends and family back in Fort Wayne was very difficult that day. Basically I had a dream that morning that showed us drifting apart. I see it already happening with a few of them, due to limited contact (no longer having a phone). I never want to or intend to remove said people from my life. Lately I've been called things like selfish and indifferent, and I've felt hurt. That's completely opposite of how I feel about all these friends. It's very challenging and time-consuming for me to balance so many places and people and to be able to continue to live in the present moment. That's one reason why I feel blessed to lose the cell phone. It's nothing personal against anyone.

I've been overly-explaining myself and feeling like I'm not getting through, feeling frustrated. But I know that this is just yet another learning experience to remind me that our true home is with God, and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. I'm learning to stop expecting others to understand, and to stop trying to prove myself. I'm also receiving yet another version of a lesson that I've encountered since the day I entered this body:  no one is really hurting me, just lashing out because of the suffering they are experiencing. Therefore, how can I take any of this personally?

I know that right now I belong here and that this will further my spiritual growth the most right now. 
Freebird and LuAnn reminded me of all this that evening, offered me a shoulder to cry on,
laughed with me, and let me know that they love me. I'm forever grateful to 
cross paths with not just them, but all these awesome people out west. 
Through them, I'm reminded more and more of God's unconditional love for all of us.

While on the air, Brandon called from Seattle! We were all so excited to hear from him, 
to know that he's having a wonderful time with his family and friends.

Daniel took a break during one of the songs to have chips and salsa with us. What a wonderful way to end the day, surrounded by all these beautiful people. Everyone here has been helping me, in ways that they will never realize, and to them I'm forever grateful. Friends and family "near and far," I love you all very dearly. The "distance" will never take away my love for all of you.



  2. I imagine tiger lilies taste radish-y like nasturtiums.

  3. I love you too Michele! I'm so grateful for our friendship :)