We stood in the garden in hiking boots and a fistful of seeds that hold so much hope and promise for the future. I look out over our garden plot and it’s just dirt. A big pile of dirt. I can’t call it a garden yet because we haven’t planted a thing. Do I really know what I’m doing? Without my grandparents to help me out this whole garden business is feeling a lot more serious than I imagined. Inside I feel worried about whether or not these tiny seeds will actually grow or if I’ll remember to water them every day this week.
I run into the garden organizer and she asks me how our garden is doing. I mumble through some sentences about how the lettuce is just starting to grow and how about how I accidentally killed the strawberries. I let her know that our tomatoes haven’t come up yet and a smile crawls across her face. And she tells me that tomatoes don’t do well when they are sewn directly into the soil. Oh boy, why didn’t I think of that? I look at my feet. I’m sure she can tell that my face has flushed with embarrassment.
I look up and she’s smiling, so is Kevin. He’s standing with our friends proudly showing off the tiny lettuce shoots and I hear him say, well we’ll just have to wait and see. My heart settles. Exhale. Between Ena and Kevin’s smile, I know it’s going to be o.k – whether the tomatoes grow or not, whether the strawberries die because I forgot to water them, or whether we grow the most bizarre lopsided vegetables. Too often, I can feel myself thinking like a full cup. I can’t find space for new ideas because I’m holding on too tight to the ones that I have. These moments are an all out tip. A forceful spill of the careful balance that I’ve been clinging on to for months. Most times, I don’t even know that I’m doing it.
When you have taken care of yourself for so long, it becomes a necessity to have all the answers. My early-twenties have been about trying to keep all the pieces together. In the last few years I’ve juggled moving to new apartments without a car and figuring out how to work mini indulgences into a budget that is hacking away at some pretty big student debt. It’s not easy. There are days I find myself worrying over the little things and wishing for more answers. For awhile, I felt like I was on this journey alone – but it’s not true. I’m not trying to tell you that everything is great and everyone out there is super helpful, but it’s the people that offer their forgiveness, love, and support when the times get tough who really make this life what it is.
It’s the warm smiles and laughter in the garden when you’ve just failed at growing tomatoes that can help you see the kind and gentle parts of this earth. I know that when I stay up all night to finish a freelance project so I can book a weekend away or get a new surfboard, that someone will be there to drink tea with me in the morning or grub out on coconut ice cream the night after when I’m falling asleep before 10 pm. Remember to meditate. Drink your smoothies. Things are going to be alright.
I’m consistently drinking one smoothie a day right now. I’ve been putting together new smoothie recipes, because let’s face it, you can’t have a green smoothie every day of the week. Or maybe you can, but this is for those weeks when you want to venture out a little bit. I started taking turmeric a couple months ago when I was babying a running injury and it seems like I can’t get enough of it. Now that I’m all healed, I’m still spicing up drinks and snacks (like popcorn) with a little turmeric. This smoothie has a nice balance of sweet and savory and will thicken up the longer you let it sit.
Mango Turmeric Sunrise Smoothie
2 mangos, peeled and cut
1/2 cup almonds, blanched
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp chia seeds
1 cup cashew milk
1 cup cold water
5 dates, pitted and chopped
2 bananas, peeled and chopped
Combine all the ingredients in your blender; blend for 2-4 minutes until all the ingredients are smooth. You can add extra dates for a thicker smoothie or a pinch of 1/2 tsp extra turmeric. Add fresh bananas and chia seeds on top.