Surprises in Life and the Garden: And Oh! the pang of unrequited love

Oh my!

All is well. To everything, turn, turn, turn. There is a season, turn, turn, turn, and a time for every purpose under heaven…..

I found out this morning a dear friend is considering a move to another country, and even the suggestion of this change wrenched my heart. Aching! Already, and nothing has been decided. We have worked, laughed and taken the time to get to trust, to know each other well. Of course a move would not change that, the qualities of our friendship….but…. Add to this the knowledge that another dear human will soon be heading out of the area…..one whom I care for, yes, yes, I do….. though it has never been forthrightly uttered from my lips…… and shall, I feel, for the best of all concerned, remain beaming out yet not spoken. Oh my. I needed to keep breathing!

Well, what next? I fairly catapaulted myself towards the garden – for, admittedly, a bit of solace, and, both feet on the ground whilst my heart was spinning, I looked down. Moved a couple of leaves. Underneath my garden chair I found a surprise:

surprise! baby butternut squashes beneath the garden chair

And I laughed – if all goes well and the season is long enough….. these sweet squashes will ripen to that gorgeous pale orange exterior and enrich some winter meals. Life continues on sooo many levels. It truly is mind expanding. Then this study in pure garden beauty showed itself.

Pure, unadulterated garden love

And, as everyone’s life proves to them, nothing is certain. Change is constant. The vines we thought at their peak, have other events in mind.

another surprise – pumpkin growing in the compost pile!

We create our lives through our choices. Here now, writing to you. Perhaps some words flowing through my mind, will trigger new decisions. It’s just – my heart has ached so, many times before! Through death, and beyond, and back. My life is filled, richly now and with great gratitude, filtering the sorrow and joys and pains of others, witnessing them heal. The wonder, the miracle of it is profound. “The choreography of the Universe” I have frequently called it – called life – these synchronicities, serendipity, chance. To think, for instance, that this blossom upon which plant I decided to plunk into the scrabbly looking back garden soil, last season flush with thistle, bind weed, fruit pits –

sun filled blossom

creates the fruits that can help sustain a family – really, when you strip away your composed understanding of what you’ve learned, how things work on this planet – it truly is astounding. Garden as philosophy lesson. Spiritual truths in the dirt beside the alley. Keeping my heart open…..

the ground studded with beautiful butternuts

So I have to say I’ve been comforted this morning, by my squashes and their late in the season proliferation. Perhaps some might find it silly, but in my fragile heart state, the sturdy, stocky squashes did just that. And I’ve gotten loads of calls from clients, I’ll be traveling soon, to work up north. Heart wide open, and still, I’m happy to say, with a good appetite.

Here’s what I’ll be making, in a few short weeks, when the stems wither and the time is right. If you’ve got a ripe, harvested butternut squash, I’d try it now. It’s that good.

Spaghetti with Butternut Squash and Spinach

A beautiful dish I created one winter, celebrating beans and grains, rich color and taste. With this dish, use your intuitive sense to decide “how much is enough”– with your eye and taste buds together, it will be perfect!

  • Whole wheat (or gluten free rice flour) spaghetti…1/4 lb. (two fingers) per person is usually enough
  • butternut squash, peeled, cut into French fry cuts
  • a few good handfuls spinach, chopped

  • julienne (thin matchstick cut) red onion
  • minced fresh garlic
  • olive oil or butter for saute
  • fresh minced thyme
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • chopped kalamata olives
  • bread crumbs, a handful per person
  • feta cheese, crumbled

Begin by sautéing bread crumbs and a little garlic in a skillet until crumbs have crisped and browned. Reserve them in a bowl for garnish. Wipe skillet and in a little more oil or butter, saute your red onion and more garlic with the fresh thyme. Put a large pot of salted water to boil, for the squash and the spaghetti. When water is boiling, drop in squash and allow it to get a five minute head start before you add spaghetti to the water. Test pasta and drain without rinsing. When the onions are beginning to turn golden, add beans and stir to heat through. Then add spinach and stir into onion bean mixture just until it wilts. In your pasta pot, toss pasta with squash and the spinach mixture. Salt and pepper the dish, drizzle in a little more olive oil if you like. Divide onto plates and garnish with feta, olives and bread crumbs.

Note – Alternatively, oven or pan roasted squash is of course mighty great in this dish. It adds another pan, another step, but if you like – try it.

One more note! If you’ve been following my blog awhile, you’ll remember that a few weeks back a little watermelon was all over my post. Well, another melon from the same vine was cracked open late this morning, and I’m happy to share it is EXACTLY the full, rosy, juicy gem I had envisioned:

you’ll be happy to see my last watermelon is fully ripe and luscious!

2 thoughts on “Surprises in Life and the Garden: And Oh! the pang of unrequited love

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s