Apricot jam

Once a year if I’m lucky I settle down long enough to make apricot jam… not just any apricot jam, but my Julie’s jam. Losing our loved ones is probably one of the hardest lessons we have on earth. And while time has healed my broken heart enough to carry on, I can on any given day cry thinking of my dear friend. I wouldn’t even venture to change that. My way of thinking, tears are merely a measure of how much I enjoyed my friend. They come with the territory.
Julie made pretty much the best apricot jam around. And now, thanks to her, so do I. Her recipe, much like she lived her life, cuts no corners. She would spend three to four hours, stirring the apricots to cook them down. The whole process takes the better part of a day, and every minute spent is rewarded two-fold.
Jam day now feels like I’m spending the day with Julie. I reminisce with her all during the day. We watch a few good movies as I stir for hours. This year we watched a couple of cute Amazon Prime movies with Diane Keaton. Julie left me her copper jam-making pot, so inevitably I send pictures to her sons to let them know it’s apricot jam day. And if I’m lucky, we end up laughing for an hour on the phone, just like I would have done with Julie had I been cooking with her. Life continues to delight me as it teaches me that the threads that weave throughout any family tapestry pass down through the generations.
I thank heaven for angels disguised as friends, for copper jam pots, for apricot trees and for children left to carry on such a beautiful legacy.

Spring

I’ve been giving spring a lot of thought the last few weeks, since my book, “Lessons of a Wayward Yogini” is scheduled to be released this spring. My editor, Dennis, www.5editorial.com gave me grief about not putting quotes around the title of my book in a recent post, so he will be thrilled that I’ve corrected this. And I might make major points since I’m also sharing his link. Even though I’m paying him as my editor/publisher, I’m trying everything in my power to encourage him to send along some of his BBQ. He seems to be a jack of all trades, or in this case, a Dennis of all trades, and I’ve heard he makes a pretty mean BBQ.

Back to spring… is there anything better than a bud on your plants as they awaken ever so slowly in early spring? I can’t help myself, I run out to my yard almost every day when the plants are filled with their tiny buds just to peak at them and marvel at their new growth that will in short order be something of delicate beauty. Against all odds, winters filled with freezing temperatures and snow at times, their tiny shoots nevertheless find their way from their dormant state to once again greet a new dawn, a new season.

I feel like a kid at Christmas, those buds are like presents wrapped under the tree. There is such a feeling of anticipation in the air, as well as such a sweet fragrance. It lifts me inches off the ground as I walk through my garden, if only in my mind. The scent definitely encourages a deep yogini breath, and brings a smile to my face and a contentment deep in my soul.

Spring to me, is the promise of rejuvenation, of another season, a second chance (or in some cases a third chance if we are speaking about the deer eating the plants in my yard for two seasons in a row, until we developed deer fencing 4.0.) And even the word spring, its synonyms are leap, jump, bound and vault… obviously a time of year with great potential for advancing all that needs advancing or healing.

I think we humans are no different, we need a new beginning every year or so, to rise up and bloom again. Our earth offers all that we need by way of nature and our fellow humans. It’s up to us to embrace the energy and support that surrounds us on any given day. Without that connection, it can be somewhat easy to feel alone, even when we are anything but.

I’m dedicating this post to a few of my friends who are a bit under the weather. If you have to be ill, I can’t think of a better time of the year to do it.

Here’s to spring… Namaste