The Swirl of Springtime
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I spent the evening in the kitchen, all about ham and corn casserole and whether or not to do potatoes (did, mashed, with pork gravy) and thought about how hot cross buns are good, hot and fresh, but a bit overrated after a day or two on the counter. I love cooking up a holiday meal, and really enjoy the leftovers, but throw in an early church service, a large gathering of people, the dishwasher flooding, ants invading, the dog not feeling so well, three people all needing one car in the late afternoon, and mass consumption of Reese’s peanut butter eggs on top of all that ham, and it gets to be a day.
So I was looking forward to a good rest on Sunday night, and it never really came. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been havin’ a rough time sleeping. From what I hear, the general consensus is that the weather’s to blame. Kind of up and down with temps, and rain, and barometric issues I don’t much understand. Whatever it is, it’s got me awake around 3 a.m. the last few nights, and a bit more sleep after that, and a rise-and-shine attempt somewhere around 6 a.m.
No complaints, mind you. When your balance is off, there’s always an answer, and I’ve resorted to the good ol’ twenty minute nap. It works, and works well. Here’s what you do: when you’re having trouble, mid-afternoon, keeping your eyes open and your spirit alive and kickin’, find the place in the house where you feel most at peace (not the most comfortable place, or you’ll sleep for hours.) For me, it’s the living room carpet, right near the window. Find a firm pillow and a soft blanket, and lay your body down right there along the ray of sunlight on the carpet. Fold the pillow a bit so it supports your neck, and cover your body with the blanket, placing your arms under the blanket and your hands overlapping just below your belly button (or wherever they rest well).
Close your eyes and breathe through your nose, out your mouth, until you feel you might sink into the carpet. Imagine floating in warm water, or resting on soft grass in a meadow, or what it would be like to be warm rice pudding. Lie there, then, and think about the delightful things in your life: the laughter of your children, the smell of fresh bread, your friends scattered all over, the sound of birds. (Don’t think about taxes or plumbing issues or graduation parties or your sore feet. You can deal with all that later.)
Just rest. You can set an alarm, or let the neighbor’s barking dog wake you, or take a chance on your body saying, “Time to get on up and back at it!” We forget things, you know. With all the swirl of what Springtime brings. We forget to be gentle with ourselves now and then, and let ourselves float away for a bit. And if you happen to sleep an hour or two, well, good for you. You’ll have all the more in you to get those taxes done, and fix the kitchen faucet, and take a walk in the evening with the person you most love. You might even have it in you to cook up a roast, or some fresh bread, or that new recipe for bars you got from the neighbor down the street. Nope, a little nap never hurt anyone, far as I know.
Here’s a simple meal that comes out looking Fine, and tastes even better. Add some parmesan to dress it up, a sprinkling of parsley, perhaps, and never let on that it took you seven minutes to create.
Crockpot Cheese Tortellini
1 19 oz bag frozen tortellini
1 small bag fresh spinach
2 cans Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 box (4 cups) vegetable (or chicken) broth
8 oz cream cheese
Put all ingredients in crock-pot, chunking up the cream cheese.
For variety, slice and brown a pound or so of your favorite Italian sausage and toss it in.
Cook on low for 5-6 hrs.
Serve with warm sliced sourdough, and your favorite wine.