Yesterday afternoon, despite a great Pilates class and trip to the farmer’s market, I landed on my fanny with a thunk, at the bottom of another crater. Shawna, in her wisest of ways reminded me, possibly for the hundredth time, that what I am experiencing is a normal part of grief rather than an indictment of my character. After hanging up the phone I put on my running shoes, and headed out for a long fast walk. I must confess, arriving home I did feel more like me, that is to say human.
My charges were in their usual spots. Mom was sitting in her chair in the den eating a yogurt, Molly waiting for a cookie by her side. I smiled with great affection at the all is ‘as it should be’ scene. And then I opened the refrigerator.
A small scattering of miniscule dots covered the bottom. What the heck? Are those bugs? Black specs, smaller than a poppy-seed? Oh no. My eyes immediately traveled to the top shelf where a newly opened bag of cereal made entirely of raw Chia, Hemp, and Buckwheat seeds sat, looking like I felt. I immediately steeled myself for what further investigation of the empty package might reveal.
The seeds were everywhere! A few dry piles, bits stuck randomly to bottles or cartons, groupings pooled in the bottom of both drawers, and clumps mixed with condensation in the crevices around most shelves. As anyone who eats this stuff and tried to dislodge it from aging teeth will tell you, these seeds are tenacious little buggers that do not go gently into the good night.
Once the entire fridge was dismantled, it was a devastating reveal. I stood facing the full impact of eight ounces less one tablespoon, of ‘wasted’ seeds. Thousands of tiny orbs of potential life, lost like children without proper education, or soldiers to endless conflict. All hope dashed of ever sprouting, taking root, growing, or living up to their full potential.
Of course, Molly came to investigate the contents which now surrounded me on the floor, as well as covering the stove, counters, and kitchen table. That was mom’s cue to weigh-in by reminding me that this too, like so many things beyond her control, was my fault – for neglecting to ensure the seal had been iron tight that morning when I had been racing around to get out of the house in time to assist my neighbors with child care.
It would have been easy to take the bait and lose it, with one or both of them. I did shoo Molly away rather loudly, and swear at mom under my breath but mostly because just at that particular moment tears mixing with sweat caused by an abundance of humidity, were making my neck itch ferociously and I wanted to blame someone for my predicament. Of course I couldn’t scratch because by this point my hands and arms were covered with seeds that felt like ant carcasses. As is usually the case when I find myself in these absurd situations, that was fortunately for us all, the exact moment that laughter began to bubble up from a well I thought had run dry.
As order was restored, mom started to feel bad that she had created extra work. I told her it was cosmic payback for all the messes she cleaned when I was a child. Then I reminded her that it had been nine months since the last fridge fiasco and we were probably due. I thanked her for helping me get something off the to-do list before it even appeared. I think that was what finally made her smile.
Invisible helping hands from the universe? A chance to clean out the fridge? One more opportunity to get things in order, clear away distractions, let go of all that is no longer possible to carry forward from the past? There is an impending sense of urgency these days. To simplify things down to the most basic level, in an effort to prepare, for what may lie ahead. On the other hand maybe this is me still trying, at the most basic level, to prove I am a good daughter who is worthy of love.